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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: "MrJack H.Williams" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 13:12:26 +0200
Subject: Good Day.


Good day.

I am MrJack H.Williams, from Ivory Coast in West Africa.I haveinstructed myson to contact you for a possible investment assistance based on the reasonthat i need a foriegn partner.

I have the amount of US$5.5 Million dollars ready for investment assoonas the fund is transfered outof Africa. I am a formal revenuedirector inthe ministry in Ivory Coast, I will not be meeting with you now because iam in a critical condition, therefore i will send my son along withinstructions to Senegal where these fund is deposited in a security companydue to the war in my country. Meanwhile, based on my son's inexperience in business, i advised that you can effectively use your experience and good will in business with the available investment fund for mutual benefits.

It will be a delight to have your direct and personal contact numbersforone on one discussion over this matter with my son. Thank you for your understanding.

Awaiting your reply soon.

MrJack H.Williams

Anti-fraud resources: