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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: "JOHSON" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 20:47:28 +0200

Dear Friend,

My name is Mr. JOHNSON BOI The Acting Manager/ controller Foreign
Investments And Bills Republic of South Africa,
I am writing in respect of a foreign customer in one of our banks
with account number 908-14-255-114 whose name is Cho Kwiyoung(Mr.),
an American citizen who died in a plane crash [Korean Air Flight 801]
with the whole passengers onboard on August 6,1997..
And for your perusal you can view this website

Since the demise of this customer, I personally has watched with keen
interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has
come to claim his funds of US$20.5M
(Twenty Million Five Hundred Thoudsand United States Dollars) which has
been with our branch for a very long time. On this note,
I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the Next of Kin as
noone has come up as his next of kin.
And our monetary laws here does not allow such money to stay more than
eight years in the bank, because the money will
be disbursed by the government since funds are unclaimed.

In view of this, I got your contact through the internet reserch as i
was making a research on a foreigner who will assist me in this great opportunity.
For your assistant I am willing give you 20% of the total amount. Upon the
receipt of your response, I will send you by fax or e-mail the letter
of application for the release of the funds
which you will fill, sign and send back to our office to enable us
start this processing of this claim.I will not fail to bring to
your notice that this business is hitch free and that you should not
entertain any fear as all modalities
for the smooth and easy transfer of this fund has been finalized,
this transaction will be completed within
seven banking days of recieving your response, after you apply to the
National Treasury as a relation to the deceased.
When you receive this letter. Kindly send me an e-mail or fax
signifying your decision.

Please include your private Tel/Fax numbers for quick communication.

Yours Sincerely,

Anti-fraud resources: