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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: "Fraud & Crime Unit" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 14:09:17 +0100
Subject: Re: Advis Us

Attn: Sir / Madam,

We received transfer application from a man Who claims to have been sent on your behalf to claim your fund that was compensated to you by Fraud and Crime Unit (FCU), Benin Republic

Advise us if you authorized anybody on your behalf so we can process the Five Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds immediately. Or advise us immediately so that we will arrange on how to remit your compensation funds to you.


Gildas Sonto.
Fraud & Crime Unit,

Anti-fraud resources: