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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: Melanie Adebayo <>
Reply-To: Melanie Adebayo <>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 22:03:12 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent

Hello Dearest,

Thanks for your attention and I pray that my decision to  contact you will be given genuine approval.I crave your permission to introduce myself. l am Miss.Melanie Adebayo, the only daughter of late Chief George Adebayo, I humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the transfer and investment of my inheritance funds in your country from my late father's bank account who died mysteriously.The amount he left for me is ($7.5m) Please if I can trust in your sincerity and honesty to help me, I will give you 20% of the total fund, including any expenses during the cause of your help.

Once you accept to assist me in this transaction, I will be giving you more details.

I will be expecting to hear from you soon.

Thanks Warm

Miss.Melanie Adebayo

Anti-fraud resources: