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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: "Christopher A. Wray." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:31:15 +0200
Subject: ***** SPAM ***** Western Union/Money Gram

Good Day,

After proper and several investigations and research at Western Union and Money Gram Office, we found your name in Western Union database among those that have sent money through Western Union/Money Gram and this proves that you have truly been swindled by those unscrupulous persons by sending money to them through Western Union/Money Gram in the course of getting one fund or the other that is not real.

In this regard a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of Western Union-Money Gram in the United State Region and the FBI alongside with the Ministry of Finance, As a consequence of our investigations it was agreed that the sum of One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($1,500,000.00) should be transferred to you out from the funds that The United State Department of the Treasury has set aside as compensation payment for scam victims.

This case would be handled and supervised by the FBI and the United State Police Service. We have submitted your details to them so that your funds can be transferred to you.

Contact the agent in charge through the information below:

Contact Person: Robert Edward

Address: Western Union Post Office,


Yours sincerely,

Christopher A. Wray.
Post Office Agent Location

Anti-fraud resources: