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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: "MR NELSON WILLIAM" <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 08:56:49 +0100

Good day,

I am Nelson william a solicitor at law. I am the personal Attorney to Mr.
Edmund Miller Sr. a United States Oil Consultant and Contractor with the Philippines Solid Minerals Corporation. Hereinafter, shall be referred to as my client.

On the 31st of October 1999, my client was involved in the Egypt Air Flight 990 plane crash with his wife. Nobody was recovered from the crash site.

This is the website:

I have contacted you to assist in retrieve/repatriate the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposit was lodged.

Particularly, the Bank of my deceased Client where he had a Fixed deposit account valued at about 15.8 million dollars has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next 21 official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at 15.8 million dollars can be paid to you. If you agree we can discuss your percentage. I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us to 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.

I am awaiting your prompt response.

Best regards,
Nelson william(Esq)

Anti-fraud resources: