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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: Henry Wood <henrywood2002@live.com>
Reply-To: <henrywood1971@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 05:09:38 +0100
Subject: From Henry Wood (Urgent)



Dear Sir I am the personal lawyer to Late Mr. Mark Zuma who is a citizen of South Africa who was a car dealer, who died alongside with his entire family in a motor accident by march 2006.I am from Liberia but i live in London. The reason why I am contacting you is that the bank where he has a fixed deposit account before his demise have given me a one month ultimatum to produce his next-of-kin that will claim his money or they will have to take-over the money. I have searched for his next-of-kin or any member of his family that will claim this money to no avail. Since I have been given a one month deadline to produce the next-of-kin or risk loosing my client’s money I said I should contact you so that I will present you to the bank as his next-of-kin. All the information and document concerning my client are all with me should the bank ask you of them which is likely. Once I present you to the bank and they are convinced that you are the next-of-kin, they will go ahead and pay you the money. Once the money is paid to you, it will be shared on a 50-50 basis among both of us. I will furnish you with other details once I hear from you if you have accepted my offer. Please for the sake of this transaction, I will like you to keep it absolutely confidential in other for it not to leak. I will be expecting your prompt reply as soon as possible.
Regards Barrister Henry Wood
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