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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 Santha Sanjay Maria" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2022 12:45:00 -0700

Dear Beloved,
Please read this slowly and carefully, as it may be one of the most important emails you ever get.  I got your details after an extensive on-line search for a reliable person, I'm Mrs . Santha Sanjay Maria, A dying woman who has  decided to donate the sum of ($15,000,000.00) to you for charitable goals.
I have cancer. Having known my condition I decided to donate these funds to better the lives of the less privileged need an honest and trustworthy individual that will utilize this money in accordance with my instruction,I shall give you the contact of the Bank, and my Attorney.
For legitimacy, he will also issue you a Letter of Authorization that will empower you as the original-beneficiary of this fund, Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another individual for this same purpose, if you are not interested, kindly pardon me for contacting you.
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs Santha Sanjay Maria

Anti-fraud resources: