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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: "MR MUSA SALYE" <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:43:23 +0100

Please, Reply

I am MR.Musa Mamodou. I am an employee of a commercial Bank here in
the Dakar-Senegal; I am the personnel account officer of Late Mr. Paul
Reynolds who was a National of canada before his untimely death with his
wife. They had no children. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004 our customer and
his wife died on board on PLANE CRASH in Indonesia (Indonesia Airline
Flight JT583). The plane crash was in the news. See link below for more detail

Since then no body has come forward to claim his funds and our bank
AUTHORITIES are making serious arrangement to confiscate his money. In
order to avert this negative development, I now seek your permission to have
you stand as a RELATIVE to the deceased and equally act as his next-of-kin
The account is valued at US$18.5 million Dollars will be paid into
your nominated bank account before our bank authorities confiscated or declared
his bank account unserviceable and this will happen if no body comes forward to
claim the money.
I am assuring you that this transaction will be executed under legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please, do not
hesitate to put up your utmost effort in handling this transaction to the
highest level of business. I have reposed higher confidence in your
ability to handle this matter perfectly and confidentially. Also, your
telephone number will be highly required to enable us communicate with each
other on daily basis.
I want you to understand that your involvement in this matter is to maintain
absolute secrecy and keep the spirit of teamwork; you do not have to disclose
the nature of this transaction to anybody for security reasons.
I am serious minded person and I mean business.
The funds will be shared to us, after it has been transferred into your
bank account.
1. 50% of the money will go to you for acting as the next-of-kin
2. 50% to me as the originator of the transaction.
Please indicate your interest to the above email address
interest and to let you know the next step of action towards the
success of this transaction.
Best regards,
MR. Musa Mamodou
The information in this letter is confidential, please, if you are not
interested destroy this message, You should not retain copy or use this
letter for any purpose, nor disclose all or any part of its content to
any other person.

Anti-fraud resources: