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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: "Sgt. G. Carson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 22:08:51 +0100
Subject: hello

Good day and compliments, I know this letter will definitely come to you as a surprise, but I implore you to take time to go through it carefully.
I am Sgt. G. Carson, in 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment unit. We Patrols the helmand province,Afghanistan. I am desperately in need of an assistance that's why I have summoned courage to contact you.
I found your contact address in an address journal. Please i need your assistance to evacuate the sum of $2.5m (Two Million Five Hundred thousand United States Dollars) to you for safekeeping until i will be through with my service here in Afghanistan to come over for disabursement.
Some money in US DOLLARS was discovered in a barrels at a location in helman province where we conducted a foot patrol and it was agreed by all party present that the money be divided among us.This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we are taking with our lives in this service.
The above figure was given to me as my part and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me while still here in Afghanistan, so with the help of a Canadian contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity) I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.
I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Afghanistan. I do not know  how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 4 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention. This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you, kindly contact me immediately and we would work out the necessary formalities but I urge you to be discreet about this information.
Sgt. G.Carson,
United States Soldier:Afghanistan

Anti-fraud resources: