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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: Mrs Caroline Kowan <>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 18:20:44 +0200
Subject: Donation From Mrs Caroline Kowan

How are you my dear,

My name is Mrs Caroline Kowan,I wish to donate towards education and
the less privileged through your help.I am writing concerning my
plans to donate in memory of my deceased husband,

Rt. Rev Luke Kowan, I wish to donate toward education and the less
privileged and to ask for your assistance. As you may know, I am
suffering from colon cancer,according to my doctor, I have few weeks
to live please i need prayer's.

Throughout his years; my husband stressed the importance of education
and the less privileged I feel that this is what he would have wanted
me to do with the money that he left for charity.

These services bring so much joy to the kids. Together we are
transforming lives and building brighter futures-but without you, it
just wouldn't be possible. Thank you so much for your support.

Sincerely Mrs Caroline Kowan

Anti-fraud resources: