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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: "Deborah L. Hayes." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 07:08:35 -0800

I hope that this correspondence is received with the  urgency and expediency required. It has come to the notice of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Reserve here in Washington, D.C. that your present inheritance claims application being handled by the Remitting Office in Africa is experiencing some man made irregularities. To this effect, it has become necessary for the Board of Trustees to assign trained Fund Transfer Specialists from the United States to resolve and regularize your fund release with immediate effect.
We at Deborah L. Hayes & Corporate Affairs have been duly consulted by the Federal Reserve Board of Trustees in Washington.We have been fully informed about how the staff of theremitting agency has been taking advantage of you by telling you to pay unnecessarily exorbitant charges which will only make your payment process a long drawn out process.
Due to this development, we have been assigned to step into the immediate processing of your fund transfer to enable your funds to be transferred to you within the shortest possible time. To implement this, you are to get back to us immediately without needing to pay all the huge sums of monies that are being demanded from you by the previous handlers at the remitting bank.
All processes to have your funds paid to you immediately through the Liaison Remittance Office in New York have been initiated to cut out unnecessary costs.You are advised to treat this communication with the urgency and seriousness required as the Board of Trustees of the Federal Reserve has mandated us to resolve this fund payment within the next three working days independent of the Remitting Offices in Africa.
Furthermore,you are hereby advised to pay no further fees or charges to these offices as they shall no longer be handling your payment process.
We shall await your immediate correspondence with your direct telephone numbers,mailing address to my private email address at ( for re-confirmation so that we may conclude your payment immediately.
Yours Sincerely,
Deborah L. Hayes
Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs

Anti-fraud resources: