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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: Dr Douglas Hartnett <>
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2021 05:36:23 +0000
Subject: Congratulation


There is an award in your name from the United Nations and World
Health Organization affiliated with the international monetary fund in
which your email address and fund were released to us for your
transfer, kindly reconfirm your data for your transfer.

We were instructed to transfer all pending transactions within the
next two, but if you have received your fund kindly ignore this
message, if not comply immediately.

We need your urgent response to this message, this is not one of those
internet scammers out there, It's Pandemic relief

Dr Douglas Hartnett

Anti-fraud resources: