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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: harry martin <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 12:43:31 +0000
Subject: FROM HARRY,


I am Mr.Harry Martin consultant with one of the banks in my country GHANA.I got your esteem contact address during my search for any relation to my client an Engineer with one of the oil companies in my country.

The reason for contacting you was due to the similarity in your name.The newly appointed director of my bank has ordered that we should compile the list of dormant account to enable the bank confiscated and forwarded to the nation’s treasury account as an unclaimed fund.

I have decided that instead of loosing the whole money to the bank,I will rather donate the money to any charitable organization in your country such as homeless and motherless homes,for children up bringing and some other related organization.

If you are interested to assist me,I will give you the contact of the bank head office,which I will send to you as soon as you respond.With the assistance of an insurance company to the Engineer,the money was approved for claim. All I need to do is to include your name as a relation to the Engineer.(Next-of-kin) The amount involved is $9m dollars,(Nine million dollars)only.

I had resolved to share the money as follows: 30% for me,30% for you and 30% for the charity organization.10% for expenses.Do please send me your full name,your age,contact address, personal telephone and mobile numbers for easy communication and understanding.

I await your urgent responds.

Mr.Harry Martin

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Anti-fraud resources: