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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: "Caroline McGovern Esq" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2019 13:16:15 -0800

Compliment Of The Day!

I write to inform you that your lottery award inheritance winning check of $9.8 million USD was issued out from bank last week, although the check has been converted to a ATM Visa card.
Reason, the money was loaded into the card was because the check may got expired before it gets to your address, therefore we have registered the ATM card with FedEx courier company here. So kindly contact them with your current address where to deliver the ATM card.

Contact FedEx manager: Dr. Helen Mike R
Phone: +229 61118255

Please endeavor to indicate the ATM card parcel registration number which is ( ATM-068QR ) when contacting them.

Please ensure you inform me when you have received the ATM.

Sincerely yours,

Caroline McGovern Esq
OON, secretary to IMF Benin republic.

Anti-fraud resources: