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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:

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2020 22:15:36 -0700
Subject: FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Anti-Terrorist And Monetary Crimes Division
FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
J.Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, Nw Washington, D.C. 20535-0001


This e-mail has been issued to you in order to Officially inform you
that we have completed an investigation on an International Payment in
which was issued to you by an International Lottery Company. With the
help of our newly developed technology (International Monitoring
Network System) we discovered that your e-mail address was
automatically selected by an Online Balloting System, this has legally
won you the sum of $2.4million USD from a Lottery Company outside the
United States of America.

During our investigation we discovered that your
e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have
authorized this winning to be paid to you via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED

Normally, it will take up to 5 business days for an INTERNATIONAL
CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT by your local bank. We have successfully notified
this company on your behalf that funds are to be drawn from a
registered bank within the world winded, so as to enable you cash the
check instantly without any delay, henceforth the stated amount of
$2.4million USD has been deposited with IMF.

We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to
receive the winning prize as we have verified the entire transaction
to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that the funds have
been deposited with IMF you will be required to settle the following
bills directly to the Lottery Agent in-charge of this transaction.
According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the

(2) Shipping Fee's ( This is the charge for shipping the Cashier's
Check to your home address)

The total amount for everything is $96.00 We have tried our possible
best to indicate that this $96.00 should be deducted from your winning
prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited with
IMF and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you the winner,
therefore you will be required to pay the required fee's to the Agent
in-charge of this transaction In order to proceed with this
transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge ( Mr.
Walter West Ledum) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate
contact information:

CONTACT AGENT NAME: Mr. Walter West Ledum
E-MAIL : or
PHONE NUMBER: +1360-926-1325

You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:


You will also be required to request Western Union or Money Gram
details on how to send the required $96.00 in order to immediately
ship your prize of $2.4million USD via INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED BANK
DRAFT from IMF, also include the following transaction code in order
for him to immediately identify this transaction : EA2948-910.

This letter will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau Of
Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $96.00 ONLY to
Mr. Walter West Ledum via information in which he shall send to you.

Mr. Christopher Wray

Federal Bureau of Investigation F B I
Yours in Service,
Christopher Wray Director Office of Public Affairs.

Anti-fraud resources: