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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Jean Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 01:54:04 -0500
Subject: Urgent assistance

Urgent assistance TELLPHONE +228 965 45 915.
please permit me to introduce myself to
you, my name is Miss jean smith, the only daughter of Late Mr/Mrs.
Williams Smith.I am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer
the sum of $7,000,000 (Seven Million United State of American Dollars)
that I inherited from my late father to your bank account.Please get
back to me through my private email address( )
for more details concerning this fund and I will equally send you my
photos so that you will see and know who I am.
Yours Faithfully,
Miss Jean Smith

Anti-fraud resources: