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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:

Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:42:38 +0100
Subject: Atten:Beneficiary!!Cancellation and Reallocation of $22.5m 2

Head Office
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
Tel:+(646) 598-7158

Atten: Beneficiary,
Despite all our effort in making sure that the transaction of $22.5m is concluded on time,till date you have not secured the requested documents for us to be able to transfer the $22.5m into your nominated account.
This is to notify you that,the appropriate authority and the Board of Directors have instructed that the transaction of $22.5m allocated to you earlier,be reallocated to your representatives,since you have not paid for the documents needed.
So its important you send the money for the documents immediately else the funds of $22.5m would be cancelled and reallocated.

Awaits your response.
Thank you.

Janet L. Yellen
Chairman Board of Governors,
Federal Reserve Bank
Tel:+(646) 598-7158

Anti-fraud resources: