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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: "Thierry Richard" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 13:41:46 +0100
Subject: Thank s

. Hello ,
Good-day to you. I'm pleased for contacting you in this issue and I hope that it won't be a disturbance to you .

I would like to apply through this medium for your co-operation and to secure an opportunity to invest and do joint business with you in your country.

I have a substantial capital of (US$28 M ) which I honourably intend to invest in your country into a very lucrative business venture of which you are to advise and execute the said venture over there for the mutual benefits of both of us.

I inherited this money from my late father Chief Marius Richard former interior minister of IVORY COAST, I 'm writing with a view of soliciting for your kind assistance towards the retrieval and transfer of this fund to your account for further investment.

Please understand that this proposal needs uttermost confidentiality;

Thanks for your mutual co-operation.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Thierry Richard
Email: <> Or <>

Anti-fraud resources: