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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: "David Cole" <>
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2005 13:41:01 +0000
Subject: It's been a while

Dear Esteemed Friend,

I greet you with all sincereity and apologise if this email offends you but
it comes with truthfulness and integrity.I am Mr. David Cole, an attorney at
law. A deceased client of mine, by name Mr. Andrew Parker,who hereinafter
shall be referred to as my client,died as the result of a heart-related
condition in November 2002. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating
the money left behind by my client before it is confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the bank where this deposit valued at 45million dollars is

This bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin, or the account
will be confiscated because there is a government
gazzette/mandate/authorising all banks to freeze or consificate any account
that has not been servicable in a long period of time,this is geared
towards capital flight for the economy.

My proposition to you is to seek your consent to present you as the
next-of-kin and beneficiary of my named lient, so that the proceeds of this
account can be paid to you.

Then we can share the amount on a mutually agreed-upon percentage. All legal
documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin will be provided.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction
through. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of the law.

If this business proposition offends your moral values,do accept my apology
but if not, then contact
me at once to indicate your interest,by restating your telephone number, fax
number and your address so that I too can contact you. I shall also provide
my direct telephone and fax numbers once you have indicated your genuine
Once again, I apologise if this offends you but I too have to be careful in
picking my partner in this

Best regards,
Dr. David Cole


Anti-fraud resources: