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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 Joy Sankoh" <> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 19:15:58 +0530
Subject: Dear Respectful.

FROM:Mrs Joy Sankoh
Abidjan,Ivory Coast.
Dear Respectful,
Calvary greetings. I am Mrs Joy Sankoh the wife of late Mr.Yao Sankoh. My husband was a very wealthy cocoa merchant here in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory coast, my late husband was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip.
My son David died immediately after the death of his father in a motor accident and since then I took my only surviving daughter (Esther) so special. Before the death of my late husband on November 2004 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Ten million ,five hundred thousand United State Dollars.USD($10.500,000)in a trunk box deposited with a Security Company here in Abidjan,that he used my name as his wife for the next of Kin in depositing of the box.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates. That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this box and use fund in it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management.
I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To serve as a guardian and foreign co-beneficiary of this fund.
(2) To make arrangement for me and my only daughter Esther to come
over to your country to re-settle and to secure resident permit in your country.
I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund into your country. Thank you for your signify interest to assist me. Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless.
Best regards,
Mrs Joy Sankoh and Daughter (Esther).

Anti-fraud resources: