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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: "Richard Wells" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2017 16:58:31 -0500
Subject: Info From Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l Airport

I am contacting you regarding an abandoned shipment which I found at our storage house and when scanned it revealed undisclosed sum of dollar bills in it which could be about 2 million dollars. To confirm you as the recipient, send me your full name, contact address, mobile number to my private email ( ) and if it does correspond, I will pay the alt-clearance fee of 1,800USD and conclude arrangement to deliver the box to you in person but you have to assure me of 20% of the total money in the box and please it is a confidential transaction, I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about the shipment so that we can transact it as a deal, I can get everything concluded within 48hrs.

Richard Wells
Assistant supervisor
South Air-cargo Complex
Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l Airport
6000 N Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30320

Anti-fraud resources: