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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Fraud email example:

From: "leo Echendu" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 14:28:00 +0100


Dear Sir,

I do recognize the surprise this urgent but confidential letter brings to
you, especially as it came from a stranger.

I am Mr. Leo N Echendu, the Director operations division of Hallmark Bank,
Lagos Nigeria In my department, we discovered an abandoned sum of US$10.150m
(Ten million, one hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars only)
in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Mr. Sheu Yuan
Dong, who died along side his wife on the 16th Fabruary 1998 in a Chinese
plane crash.

Since we got the information of his death, we have been expecting his next
of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless
somebody applies for it as next of kin to the deceased as indicated in our
banking guide. Since then, I have made several enquiries to his embassy
to locate any of his extended relatives. But this has also proved unsuccessful.I
have contacted you to assist in securing this money before they get confiscated
or declared unserviceable by my bank. It's therefore, upon discovery that
I decided to make business with you and release the money to you as next
of kin or relation to the deceased for safe keeping and subsequent disbursement,
since nobody is coming for it and I don't want this money to go back into

Government's account as unclaimed bill.
Note that,it does not necessarily matter, whether you are biologically related
to the deceased or not. As you may bear with me, a next of kin could be
blood relation,business associate, friend or even a well wisher. So, whether
you are related to him or not is never a barrier to realizing this transaction.
The banking law and guidelines here stipulates that if such an account remains
dormant or non-operational after a period of five (5) years, the money will
be transferred into banking treasury as unclaimed fund. However, attempts
has been made twice by the Government Agency concerned to confiscate this
account since the expiration of the five years if not for my intervention
as the executive director operations I have always told them
that the next of kin has been in touch with us. The request of a foreigner
as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer
was a foreigner.

Please be honest to me. Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of the
fund to you as arranged, you must apply first to the bank as the next of
kin to the diseased. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you the
text of application which you will fax or scan and attach to my bank.

Please View this website

Note that this transaction requires utmost confidentiality. And I am assuring
you that it is 100% risk free. So you need not be afraid.

I expect a positive response from you soonest.

Best regards,

Mr. Leo N Echendu.
Executive Director Operations Division,
Hallmark Bank Plc.

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Anti-fraud resources: