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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: "Nelson Donald" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 10:46:08 -0600
Subject: RE


Request for Confidential Business Relationship

First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction. I am a high
placed official working with Department of State for Finance & Economic
Affairs, in Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa. I and two other colleagues are
currently in need of a silent foreign partner whose bank account we can use
to transfer the sum of Eighteen Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. dollars.
This fund accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts,
though our private connections.

The fund is presently waiting to be remitted through an offshore funds
manager to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by us as associate/receiver.
By virtue of our positions as civil servants in my country, we cannot
acquire this money in our names. Because as high placed civil servants, we
are not allowed by the civil service code of conduct to own or operate bank
accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand, it is not safe for us to
keep the money here due to unstable political environment. I have been
mandated as a matter of trust by my colleagues, to look for an overseas
silent partner who could work with us to facilitate transfer of this fund
through his or her account for mutual benefit, hence the reason for this

What I am requesting from you is: (1) to be our silent partner and receive
the funds in your account in trust. (2) Provide a bank account under your
control to which the funds will be remitted.(3)Receive the funds in your
account, take out your commission and keep the rest of the money until I
arrive there to meet you after the transfer is completed.

My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as
follows: (1) 20% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance
in facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 80% belongs to me and two
colleagues. You will be free to take out your commission immediately after
the money hits your account. Since our objective is to invest the money in a
foreign country, it would be appreciated if you could also help us with
advices and direction on investing into profitable ventures in your country.
However, this is optional, and should it not be convenient for you to
further assist us with investing the money, we can end our cooperation after
you make available to me our part of the money.

The transaction, although discrete, is legitimate and the money will be
transferred to your account with all necessary back-up official documents
showing legitimate source/origin of fund. The transfer will be effected to
your account within a period not longer than two weeks as soon as we reach
an agreement and you furnish me with a suitable bank account for processing
the transfer.

I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do
not expose this information to any one else. I confirm that the transaction
is legitimate and without any risks either to ourselves or yourself.

Please, give me your response immediately by return mail.

Yours Faithfully,

Donald Nelson.

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