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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: Ben Tony Esq <>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 12:37:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Inheritance Claim.........Attn: Friend



I am quite conviuced of the fact that this will come to you as a surprise, however i am writing you based on the privlage information i garthered about you in internet during my extensive search, for urgent and confidential transaction which we will both benefit from, though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried.

I am Barrister Ben Tony, a solicitor at law, personal attorney to Mr Morgan , a nationality Of your country,who worked with Shell Development Company in Republic of Togo, Here in after shall be referred to as my client On December 26 2004, my client and his wife and their only daugther unfortunately lost there lives in the earthquake tsunami-ravaged, and since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my client extended relatives, this has also been proved unsuccessful to my effort to locate my late client relative.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name to locate any of his relatives hence I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund valued at US$10.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by Karem Security Company in Lome/Togo my resciding nationality country by birth where this huge amount was deposited in a trunk box under the coverage of family valuables, The said security company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have this box confiscated within the next twenty one official working days as they don't know the content of the box.

Since I have been unsuccessfully in locating the relatives of my late client, I seek your attention to present you as the next of kin deceased of my late client, so that the proceedings of this box can be transfer to you, Therefore on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio andmodalities for transfers as I have every necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.

You are related with my late client or not, all i need is your urgent respond so that we can both achieve this aim together undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed on you before contacting you, your last bearing name related to my late is the most imortant legal information we need mostly to present to the security company, apart from the legal documents of my late client with me.

All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through, I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law, i don't want third party with us, this should be secret between me and you, if we are fast we will not spend less than 14 working official days.

Thanks and God bless
Best Regards,
Barrister.Ben Tony.ESQ

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