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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: "WESTERN UNION" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:49:33 -0700

Crediting of $USD 2,739,000
Final Approval No::GFGI/CO/BOCT2017
Transfer Ref ID: BOCHK44BTL17
I. Am (Mr. Max Lowry) I wish to confirm on behalf of my bank that we received payment order in your name from (IMF and United States Treasury)to credit you with the sum of $USD 2,739,000 after a meeting held in our head quarter in New York 2017/03/24. The source of this fund is an inheritance/contract payment which is signed and sealed in your favor.
We are sorry for the late correspondence due to some international conference we attended in the past months and delay in approval of funds for compensation as a result of the new governmental structure here in United States. But as God may have it, we have resolved all hitches and funds have been approved for payment to all individuals listed for compensation on our data base.
The audit report given to us, shows that you have been going through challenges for a while to see to the release of your funds, which has been delayed by some dubious officials. We therefore advise that you stop further communication with any correspondence outside this office.
Please send an acknowledgment email to enable us process your payment with all due verification process.
We await your swift reply and for more details call me on :+1-949-371-2511
Yours in Services,
Mr. Max Lowry
Silicon Valley Bank.

Anti-fraud resources: