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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: "Mrs Deborah Williams" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 13:06:19 +0400
Subject: Mrs Deborah Williams

Dear beloved,

My name is DEBORAH WILLIAMS a widow bless with two
female children.In may,15th 2002.My husband,Mr.Hamza
WILLIAMS died in a ghastly motor accident,on till his
death he was the special assistent to EXXON
MOBIL.NIGERIA.PLC.And died while on officier duty.

In June 6th 2001,My late husband lodged in two trunk
box the sum of US$2O.4M{Twenty Million Four Hundred
Thousand United States dollars}and it was deposited in
a Finance/Security Company in Europe,this he disclose
to me two weeks before he died.

From his death to this very present time i have suffered
alot from the family of my late husband because i couldn't
give birth to a male child for my husband,so they have to
take all that my late husband owned and left me and
my two female children with nothing just for the fat
that their tradition does not recongnise female

I therefore personally appeal to you religiously for
your urgent assistance to represent me in Europe and
lay claim for this money.This money is my only hope to
raise my children in the way my late husband intended
to.I am will to share the money in this way,20% for
you 10% to make up all expence made to bring this
transaction to success,while 70% will be for me and my

Please do respond to save my children from this
helpless condition.

May Almighty God always be with you.

With all my regard


Anti-fraud resources: