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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: "mark owen" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:22:05 +0300 (MSK)
Subject: Urgent Business

Dear Sir/Madam.

First, I must apologize to you for using this medium to communicate to you
about this proposal. I am Mr. Mark Owen, Manager Standard Bank of South
Africa , Cape Town , and branch. I have an investment programmed for you.A
foreign mining consultant/contractor with the South Africa Mining
Corporation, Mr. Roger Beck made a huge numbered time (Fixed) deposit for
twelve calendar months, in my branch but died from an automobile accident
without making a WILL and did not declare any kin or relations in all his
official documents, including his bank deposit paperwork in my bank.

No one will ever come forward to claim it. According to South African Law,
at the expiration of 7 (Seven) years, the money will revert to the
ownership of the South Africa government if nobody applies to claim the
fund. Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to
stand in as the next of kin to Mr. Roger Beck so that the fruits of this
old man's labor will not get into the hands of some corrupt government
officials. The money will be shared in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for

Please observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this
transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall
require your assistance to invest my share in your country. Get back to me
if you are interested for more details of this transaction. Please kindly
contact me directly on ( Do also call me on +27
83 495 6621 .

I await your urgent reply.

Thanks and regards.

Mark Owen.

Anti-fraud resources: