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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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Fraud email example:

From: "FRANK APPLETON" <frank_appleton@frankedwardsandco.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:55:15 -0800
Subject: Re:Mr Harold Wilson

FRANK,EDWARDS AND CO.
LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AND ADVISORs

SUITE 305
25 HOLBORN PARK WAY
WESTMINISTER
EC3 8YT
LONDON
UITED KINGDOM
TEL: +44 207 060 1195
FAX: +44 207 060 1193

10th of JANUARY 2005

Re: Mr Harold Wilson

Please permit me to introduce myself to you. I am Barrister Frank Appleton;
a Legal Practitioner based in London, United Kingdom. I obtained your
contact from the British Chambers of Commerce and Trade and I have decided
to contact you so that we can carry out this mutually beneficial business
transaction.

My late Client, Mr Harold Wilson, an American, until his death deposited a
total of US$20.5M (Twenty million five hundred thousand US Dollars) three
years ago with a financial firm in London, United Kingdom. He was a Director
with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Gabon, Western Africa.

As Mr Harold Wilson’s personal attorney, he gave me the custody of the
deposit documents, and as such entrusted me with the legal rights to
transfer and execute this deposit to any of his next-of-kin after his
demise. I have since tried to locate any of Mr Harold Wilson’s next-of-kin
but to no avail hence I decided to contact you so that you can rightfully
stand as his next-of-kin to inherit the deposited sum.

This is a staggering sum and I need a reliable person to help me with
necessary arrangements to transfer the deposited sum out of the United
Kingdom. By virtue of my position as an Attorney, I will arrange the
documents in your name so that you can rightly apply as a next-of-kin to the
late Mr Harold Wilson.

You will be entitled to 40% of the total sum should you be willing to assist
me in this business transaction and I will get the remaining 60%. I will
prepare a formal agreement to guide us in this transaction for
accountability purpose.

Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can start processing the
documents either through the general office contact as stated above or
alternatively through my private email address at
frankappleton@frankedwardsandco.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,
Frank Appleton
Senior Partner


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