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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: "Mr. Fred Wilson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 09:36:28 -0700
Subject: Urgent Attention Needed

Attention: Beneficiary,
                                                                                         CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY
This is very urgent and an urgent attention is needed.
In our office today, was a present of One Mr. John T. Kehoe of 1200 Fitch Way, Sacramento, Ca. 95864 filing application contrary to your pending fund transfer. The above mentioned people visited this Bank yesterday with a power of attorney given in his favor by your good self, granting him the benefit to process and claim your inheritance of $5,000,000.00(Five Million United States Dollars Only) for personal reasons.
He further Stated that the online account be Terminated while the fund  should be wired to his Bank account with Bank Of America, Routing  Number 121000358.Our office have ask Mr. John T. Kehoe return back to  the Bank within 48hours to enable us have a personal confirmation from  you being hitherto the beneficiary.
1. Did you instruct one Mr. John T. Kehoe of 1200 Fitch Way, Sacramento, Ca. 95864,to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment' in his favor thereby making him the current beneficiary?
We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in giving out this fund since we must adhere to the procedures of this honorable bank by making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the beneficiary and his existing attorney.
Your confirmation to the above will be appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you soon via this email (
Yours sincerely,
Mr. Fred Wilson
Head of Operations.
Barclays Bank Plc
Tel: +234 70 5298 5445

Anti-fraud resources: