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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: "Mark Paulson" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 03:02:23 -0700
Subject: Covid 19 Recovery contract


I work in a pharmaceutical company.

I have a contract supply opportunity to be a contractor/Supplier to the pharmaceutical company.

The company always pays in advance for contractors to supply raw materials to the company.

These contract opportunities will help us to gain financial recovery from the negative effects of covid-19.

I will send you comprehensive details as soon as I get a response from You.

Mark Paulson

Anti-fraud resources: