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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: "morris eze" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 08:19:23 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend

Zennith Bank Plc,


I am Mr.MORRIS EZE,Bank Manager of Zennith Bank,Lagos,Nigeria.I have urgent
and very confidential business proposition for you.On June 6,year 2002, a
Foreign Oil consultant/contractor with the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, Mr.Barry Kelly made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve
calendar months, valued at S$29,500,000.00
(Twenty Nine Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars only) in my branch.Upon
maturity,I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no

After a month,we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract
employers, the Nigerian National petroleum corporation that Mr.Barry Kelly
died from an automobile accident.
On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL,and
all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.I therefore made further
investigation and discovered that Mr. Barry Kelly did not declare any next
of kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank
Deposit Paperwork in my Bank. This sum of US$29,500,000.00 has carefully
been moved out of my bank to a security company for safe-keeping. No one
will ever come forward to claim it. According to Nigerian Law,at the
expiration of 5 (five) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the
Nigerian Government if nobody applies to claim the fund. Consequently, my
proposal is that I will like you as an Foreigner to stand in as the owner of
the money I deposited in a security company in trunk boxe , though the
security company does not know the contents of the boxe as I tagged them to
be photographic materials for export.

I am writing you because I as a public servant can not operate a foreign
account or have an account that is more than $1m.I want to present you as
the owner of the boxe in the security company so you can be able to claim
them with the help of my attorney.All these are to
make sure that the fruits of this old man's labor will not get into the
hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple. I will like you
to provide immediately your full names and address so that i will prepare
the necessary documents which will put you in place as the
owner of the boxe. The money will be out for us to share in the ratio of 70%
for me and 25% for you and 5% will take care of all expenses.

There is no risk at all, as all the paperwork for this transaction will be
done by the Attorney and this will guarantee the successful execution of
this transaction.If you are interested, please reply immediately , I shall
then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you
understand the transaction.

Please observe with utmost confidentiality, and be rest assured that this
transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require
your assistance to invest my share in your country.Please am waiting for you

Thanks and regards.

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