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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: "robert clarkson" <> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 18:10:44 +0800
Subject: hello

Dear Sir/madam,
I am Robert Clarkson, personal attorney to Mr /miss,
an expatriate who was resident here in Lagos. On
the 2nd of January, 2005 I recieved a call that my
client died in the Tsunami Disaster with his wife and
child while on vacation at Phuket Island in Thailand.
Since then I have made several enquiries to locate any
of my client's extended relatives but it has proved

I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the
funds left behind by my client before it gets
confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank
where this deposit is lodged. Particularly, the bank
where the deceased had an account valued at US$2,700,
000.00 (Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars).

The bank has issued me a notice to provide the
next-of-kin or have the account confiscated. Since I
have been unsuccessful in locating the biological
relatives of my late client, I hereby seek your
consent to
present you to the bank as his next-of-kin since you
are a foreigner and bear the same lastname, so that
the balance on his account can be transfered to you as
inheritance and thereafter, you and me can share the
money; 50% to me, 40% to you, and 10% will be donated
to the Tsunami Disaster Charity Fund.

As a lawyer I will obtain from the relevant authority,
necessary legal paperwork that will be used to
substantiate and legalise our claim to the
inheritance. All I require is your consent, honest
co-operation and assistance to enable us see the deal
through. Finally, I guarantee that the transaction
will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law. Please
contact me via email to enable us discuss further.

Thank you.
Barr. Robert Clarkson

Anti-fraud resources: