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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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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Mrs. miriyatu usman" <miriyatu_usman@rediffmail.com> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 15:30:22 +0400
Subject: waiting for your reply

Dear Friend
Iam Mrs miriyatu usman the daugther of late mr usman sheriff,the renowned Zimbabwean,wine and catle farmer.I know it might surprise you how I got your contact.I got it courtesy of U.A.E.Yellow Business Pages.
During the war waged against farmers in Zimbabwe by the supporters and cohorts of President Robert Mugabe to claim all the white owned farms in our country,my late Father's farms were among those targeted by the ZANU-PFarmed group.In the cause of revolution in Zimbabwe,the ZANU farmed group attacked and invaded my Father's farms,burned and destroyed his farm and eventually killed him
.After my father's death last year,I managed to escape to South Africa because my life was threatened and Zimbabwe was no longer safe for me.I escaped safely into South Africa with my father's life- time fortune of US$25Million[Twenty Five Million United States Dollars]in cash and other important documents of property title and other valueables as he instructed before his death.The money and the valueables were concealed and secured in one Treasure Box and was transported through Diplomatic means.The Box is currently safely secured in the vaults of a private security firm in South Africa.
Presently,Iam residing temporarily in South Africa pending the outcome of an appeal filed on my behalf by my attorney to the South African Ministry of Internal Affairs to grant me a political assylum.I am in a dilemma of how to move this money safely out of the security deposit company for investments.Moreover,due to the government's stringent monetary policies/regulations and the sensitive and volatile political situation,it would be most dangerous to attempt investment here,as such an attempt will jeopardise my chances.
In recognition of your personal Executive Power and the investment opportunities that abound in your country,I solicit for your assistance in moving this money out of South Africa.I will also like to use this money for investment in your country.You will guard all my future investments in your country and it will be operated in a partnership level.You will be getting 20% of the investment capital moved to your country as your share for your assistance,The balance will be plunged into investment projects.
Upon receipt of your indication of interest to go into co-operation with me,we will open up discussions on the best ways to reclaim the consignment containing the cash and other valueables and ways to invest in your country.
Waiting for your urgent reply.
Yours faithfully,
Mr. miriyatu usman.


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