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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: "Eric Kone" <>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 09:56:06 +0000
Subject: Family Inheritance of Late Mr Pronk.

Tel 002289172648

Dear Pronk,

I AM BARR.ERIC KONE, a solicitor at law.I am the personal attorney to
ENGR.P.O Pronk, a national of your country, who is a Contractor and have
spent most of his life in my country (Togo) Here in after shall be referred
to as my client. On the 21st of April 2002, my client, his wife and their
only son were involved in a car accident along bagida express road.

All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I
have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients
extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several
unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet,
to locate any Member of his family hence I contacted you.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the assets and Capital valued
at US$9.5million left behind by my client before they get confiscated or
declared unserviceable by the Bank of Africa Lome-Togo West Africa where
these huge deposits were lodged. The said bank, has issued me a notice to
provide the next of Kin or have the account confiscated within the next
twenty Official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years
now, I seek the consent to present you as the Next of kin to the deceased
since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can
be paid to you. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall
then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all
necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.

All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this
transaction through.I guarantee that this will be executed under a
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

Awaiting to hear from you.

Best regards,


Anti-fraud resources: