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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: "mike efe" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 02:13:17 +0000
Subject: GOOD DAY

FROM Mike Efe
Dear Friend,

I guess this letter may come to you as a surprise since I had no previous
correspondence with you.

I am the chairman tender board of Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC).I got your contact in my search for a reliable person to handle a
confidential transaction involving the transfer of US$9.5million.

The above fund is not connected with arms, drugs or Money laundering.It is
product of an over invoiced Contract awarded in 2001 by INEC to a foreign
company for the construction of high rise estate in the federal capital

The contract has long been executed and payment of the actual contract
has been paid to the foreign contractor leaving the balance,which my
and I now want to transfer out of Nigeria into a reliable foreign account
for our
personal use.

As civil servants we are not allowed to run foreign accounts. Hence we have
chosen to front and support you as the beneficiary to be paid.
It is a very good thing that the president has endorsed the resolution
passed by
the senate that all foreign contractors owed by the federal government of
be paid.We will seize this good opportunity to surport you as one of the
beneficiaries to be paid.

If you are interested in the proposal kindly get back to me by sending me
letter of acceptance along with your direct telephone and fax numbers, we
decided to share the money in the following percentage,60%for us 30% for you
the account owner and 10% for all local and international expenses that may
in the course of this transaction.

Further details about this transaction will be discussed in the subsequent
correspondence. Note also that the particular nature of your business is
to this transaction and all local contacts and arrangements are in place for
smooth and successful conclusion of this transaction.

Be informed that we are aware of the way email proposals of this type are
sent from this part of africa and as regards that,you should please treat
this with
utmost attention knowing fully well that you cannot and will not be
compelled to
assist us if you are not disposed to.

Contact me via my email account with your contact telephone and fax Numbers,
so that I can call you for a discussion.

Thank you as I await your response.

Mike Efe

Anti-fraud resources: