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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: "James kelly" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 19:05:59 +0000

Dear Sir,

My name is Kelly James, a solicitor and advocate of the law. Nine
years ago I stood for a client who bided for a contract to supply
oil-drilling equipment to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC).

The contract was well executed and the total amount involved
was$19.5Million. Part of this money (10 Million) has been paid to my client
and ever since I have been negotiating the release of the balance
of$9.5Million that is now ready for payment. Unfortunately, my client has
passed away and is unable to claim the fund, based on this, NNPC need
somebody who I can recommend as a business associate of my late clientin
order to release the fund. I hereby seek your permission to present you to
stand as a Business Associate of my late client so that the fundwill be
released to you. My client died 6 years ago.

As lawyer and Advocate of the law, I will put all papers in order to making
sure that the law is not breached. Negotiation is open to you to determine
your compensation for your involvement in this financial project. You are
also free to ask questions on the area(s) that are not

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Kelly James.

Anti-fraud resources: