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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:

Reply-To: TAO ZHANG IMF <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 20:57:27 +0900 (JST)
Subject: We found that you have an unclaimed compensation payment that was suppose to be remitted to you, maybe due to some unforeseen circumstance that allow you to finish your transactions home or abroad, so I took it upon myself to get in touch with you before it will be forfeited as you still have the chance to claim your funds. Get back to me for more details. Please endeavor to quote your Payment REF Number: BDA/01/034/561/56D. Tao Zhang Deputy Managing Director International Monetary Fund.

Anti-fraud resources: