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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: "Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 12:06:32 -0800
Subject: Re

Greetings to you, I am Maria Elisabeth Schaeffler, a German businesswoman, investor and managing director of the Schaeffler Group. I am one of the owners of the Schaeffler Group. I have 25% of my share given away for charity. And I've also pledged to give away the remaining 25% to individuals this year 2021. I have decided to donate €1,700,000 to 100 people. If you are interested in my donation, please contact me through my advocate at ( ) for more details now.

Mrs Maria Elisabeth Schaeffler

Anti-fraud resources: