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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: "U.S. Federal Reserve Bank" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2019 15:42:38 +0530
Subject: Congratulations Unpaid Beneficiary

Congratulations Unpaid Beneficiary!
I am Janet L. Yellen, the Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. You will
get more information about me here.


I have made it my first point of call since taking office to settle
all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/corporations with
respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and
outstanding compensation payment. This is to make sure all outstanding
payments are settled before the end of the fiscal year 2019.
You have been approved to receive your outstanding funds valued at
$4,700,000.00 (Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars only). Your funds will be transferred to your nominated bank
account or your preferred payment option either by Certified Bank
Check or an ATM MasterCard issued and delivered to you.
You are advised to kindly reply this email and submit the requested
details below to help us process your payment;
Your Full Name:
Your Contact House Address:
Name of City of Residence:
Country of Residence:
Direct Mobile Telephone Number:
ID Card, DL or Passport Copy:
Age and Occupation:
Thanks for your co-operation as I wait to hear from you.
Janet L. Yellen
Chair, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.

Anti-fraud resources: