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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: "Wayne Stone" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:20:16 -0800
Subject: Urgent Response ASAP

Dear Sir

I am sending this email to you with the understanding that you are able to keep some very vital and confidential information to heart. I have in trust some very huge amount of money belonging to my client from Africa. The amount in question is in excess of 35 Million USA dollars. I would be very glad to discuss this at length with you if you are willing to do this business and take custody of it. I will give you all the details once I get to hear from you assuring me of your ability to keep this business in utmost confidentiality.

Waiting to hear from you.

Wayne Stone

Anti-fraud resources: