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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: "Paul Ibe" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 01:43:33 +0000
Subject: Dear Hugo.

Dear Hugo,

I am Mr. Paul Ibe, an accountant with one of the reputable banks in Nigeria.
I was also an account officer to Mr. Barton Hugo, a national of your country
who was a contractor with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company {NLNG}. On
22nd may 2000, Mr. Barton his wife and their two Children were involved in
an accident.

All occupants lost their lives. Since then I have been trying to locate any
of Mr. Barton's extended relatives, but this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name
over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence this proposal to
you in other to assist repatriate the

money left behind by late Mr. Barton before they get confiscated or declared
unserviceable by my bank.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over the years
now I seek your consent and cooperation to present you as the next of kin to
the deceased since you have the same last name with him so that the proceeds
of this account valued at USD17million (seventeen Million United States
Dollars) will be paid to you and then you and I will share the money.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect us from any breach of

the law. As soon as I hear from you I will detail you on the procedures of
the transaction.

Anticipating your cooperation.

Kind regards,
Mr. Paul Ibe.

Anti-fraud resources: