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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: Ufot Ekaette <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:05:39 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Your result!

Contract Award/ Review Committee
Federal Ministry Works & Housing
Northwest Ikoyi
Lagos Nigeria

Dear friend,


First, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction,
this is by virtue of it's nature. We are top officials from the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing (FMW&H), Federal Ministry of Finance[FMF] and the Presidency, making up the Contract Review Panel (CRP) set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to review contracts awarded by the past Military administration.

In the course of our work in the CRP, we discovered this fund which resulted from grossly over-invoiced contracts which were executed for the FMW&H during the last administration. The companies that executed the contract have been duly paid and the contracts commissioned leaving the sum of US$9.426M floating ready for payment.

I have therefore been mandated by my colleagues in the Panel to look for an over-seas partner to whom we could transfer this sum of US$9.426m by Legally sub-contracting the contract entitlement to you/company.This is bearing in mind that our civil service code of conduct forbids us from owning foreign companies or running foreign accounts while in Government service hence the need for an over-seas partner.

We have agreed that the funds will be shared thus after it has been transfered into your account:
(1) 30% of the money will go to you for acting as the beneficiary of the fund.
(2) 70% to us the Government officials (with which we wish to commence an importation business in conjunction with you). All logistics are in place and modalities worked out for the smooth conclusion of this transaction within fourteen working days of commencement on receipt of the following information from you:

Your name, telephone & fax numbers and company name/address.
These information will enable us make applications and lodge claims to the concerned Ministries & agencies in your favour and it is pertinent to state here that this transaction is entirely based on trust and same should be our watchword.
Please acknowledge receipt of this letter through my above email address as thus or my colleague's email id thus

Yours faithfully,
Chief Ufot Ekatte.
Chairman Contract Award/Review Committee.

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Anti-fraud resources: