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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: "John Azikwe" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 14:54:11 +0400
Subject: Dear Friend

Before I proceed I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to establish a relationship of trust,
I am John Azikwe; I am the Personal Attorney to Engr Steve Anderson.  Who used to work with Agip Oil Company in Nigeria as a foreign expert? On the 20th May 2007, he and his wife including their three children were involved in a car accident along Lokoja Express way.
Unfortunately, they all lost their lives in the event of the accident. Since then I have made several inquiries at the Embassy to locate any of my client’s relatives, which has also proved unsuccessful. hence,  I contacted you to assist in restoring  the money left  behind by  my client in a Bank.
Consequently, the Bank has issued me a notice to provide the Next of Kin to claim the $17M in their custody within the next ten official working days.
Since I have been unsuccessful  in locating the relatives for  over the years now, I seek  your consent to claim the fund so  that the fund will be  transferred to your account by  the Bank.
Upon receipt of the fund, I will come over to your country to meet with you for the disbursement of the fund and then you and I will share the money in this order: 60  for me, 40 for you.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please get in touch with me through my alternative email address: ( for further details.
Yours Sincerely.
John Azikwe Esq)

Anti-fraud resources: