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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: "Graham Steven" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 11:43:35 +0100
Subject: Attention: Mr/Mrs.

Attention: Mr/Mrs.

I am Steven Maltby Graham, a legal practitioner and personal attorney to
late Engineer M.N Sulak an international contractor in the oil industry
before his untimely demise on the 27th of September 2003 United Kingdom.

Before his death, I assisted him in the deposit of some contract funds
valued at $22 million with a bank. The funds have remained unclaimed since
his death and such unclaimed funds are appropriated and returned
tothe treasury after 4 years as a matter of banking policy. Considering the
lack of success in my bid to locate any of his relatives for over 3 years
now, I here by solicit your consent to enable me present you to the bank as
the beneficiary Next of Kin to my deceased client.

I am contacting you for two reasons because I strongly believe that the Bank
does not deserve to confiscate the funds and these reasons led to my resolve
to contact you to claim the funds.

Know that this deal is 100% risk free because I have in my possession the
personal file of the deceased which contains some of the information we
shall need to prove your legal relationship with my late client, which means
that the fund will definitely be paid into the account of whoever I present
to the bank as his next of kin. Moreover this is a legal and risk free
transaction that does not in anyway hamper or contravene the monetary laws
of your country because it is an inheritance fund.

All I require from you is your assurance that my share of the funds shall be
held in trust for me when it is released into your account by he bank. Be
rest assured that the fund shall be released to you by the bank upon
presenting all the necessary legal documents that will be used to
substantiate whatever claim we make on your behalf at the bank.

On my receipt of your consenting reply, i shall give you a detailed briefing
on this proceedings.

I await your immediate response,i appeal to your sense of fairness, Reply

Steven Maltby Graham Esq.

Anti-fraud resources: