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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: "Christopher A. Wray" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2021 02:07:53 -0800
Subject: Attention

Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services of FBI.
936 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 21545, United States.

Dear beneficiary of Thirty Eight Million 38,000,000.00 United States Dollars.
I'm writing you this email based on a report we got from the Wells
Fargo Bank California branch regarding a total sum of $
Funds which is deposited into the Wells Fargo Bank to be paid to you.
In the email we received from the Bank, it states that if you have
failed to claim the funds. The CEO of Wells Fargo Bank Mr. Charles W.
Scarf made this report to us so that we shouldn't accuse him or the
Bank of embezzlement or related cases when your funds will be seized.
The $ was verified and it is legally approved on your
name, all you have to do is to resubmit your full details including
your Bank Information and contact the bank today or tomorrow for your
payment immediately and please inform us as soon as you receive the
outstanding payment of $
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation F.B.I certified that the sum of
$ is real after proper scrutiny was made on the source of
the Funds.The Management of Wells Fargo Bank has charged you $380 for
the total transfer cost of your funds as it was explained that $10 is
the cost for transfer 1 Million Dollars that $10*380 which equals it
to US$380 for the US$38 Million Dollars and it is mandatory, you have
pay it immediately or by an installment so that you can receive your
funds before the deadline because every unclaimed funds will be seized
by 13th of December, it means that no payment will be prolonged to

For additional information about this message, please respond back
immediately so that I will give you the Wells Fargo Bank email
Remember, do NOT disclose your Bank Account details, login credentials
or card details and also avoid clicking suspicious links in your email
or text messages.
If you receive any suspicious email claiming to be from us or claiming
to be from any Bank please try and forward it to us because we are
tracking down every scam email as soon as it forwarded to us.

Thank you, I look forward to hearing the great news that you have
finally received your Funds.

Christopher A. Wray
Director of FBI.

Anti-fraud resources: