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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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Fraud email example:

From: "Chen Chu-Hwa" <>
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2004 02:16:41 +0000

Dear Sir;

I am Mr. Chen Chun-Hwa, the bill and exchange manager of a bank in
HongKong and I am contacting you on a business transfer of a huge sum of
money from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this
magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you
that all will be well at the end of the day. We decided to contact you due
to the urgency of this transaction.


I discovered an abandoned sum of US$10,500,000.00 (Ten million five hundred
thousand united states dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our
foreign customers who died along with his entire family. Since his death,
none of his next-of-kin or relations has come forward to lay claims for this
money as the heir. We cannot release the fund from his account unless
someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in
our banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, I now seek your permission to
have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased as all documentations will
be carefully worked out by us for the funds (US$10,500,000.00) to be
in your favour as the beneficiary's next of kin. It may interest you to know
that we have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of
deceased beneficiaries.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
business endeavour by furnishing me with the following;

1. Beneficiary name and address

2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers

These requirements will enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate
departments for necessary approvals in your favour before the transfer can
be made. I shall be compensating you with a One million five hundred
dollars on final conclusion of this project, while the rest shall be for us.
Your share stays
while the rest shall be for us for investment purposes.

If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the
trust I have bestowed in you.

I await your response

Kind Regards,

Mr.Chen Chun-Hwa.

Anti-fraud resources: