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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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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Smith Ola" <>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 19:11:06 +0000
Subject: IN YOUR CARE.

Auditing and Accounting Unit,
Payment Reconciliation Department
Power Holding Company of Nigeria
Dear friend,
I am Ola Smith, one of the senior managers in charge of Auditing and
Accounting section of Power  Holding Company of Nigeria  Plc (PHCN) and
also  the head of Auditing and Account's unit of this Company. With all due
respect and regard, i have decided to contact you on a business transaction
that will be  profitable and as well, beneficial to  both  of us and our
families. As the head of account and as usual our annual investigation and
auditing in this Company  where i  currently held as the head of the
Account's section, my department found out that, a huge sum of money U.S
$16m (sixteen million dollars  United  States dollars). Which we discovered 
left unattached to any payment account or beneficiary. The funds in question
is treated  as a floating fund surplus which we believe must have been as a
result of  accounting errors by the previous auditing  consultants. What is
needed is a  foreigner who will assist in claiming this funds for it's
onward transfer to your nominated account .  I have this money deposited in
an Insurance company in Holland for investment purpose. All you need do is
to open a domicilary account with a reliable  bank  there in Holland which
is an accredited bank with Power Holding Company  of  Nigeria Plc (PHCN) in
your name as the beneficiary of the funds and the fund will be remmitted to
your nominated bank account. If you are interested in assisting  me in
actualizing this transaction do get back to me so that i  can commence
action on this without  delay. I have mapped out strategies for the speedy
conclusion of this fund remmittance as all local arrangement will be handle
by my goodself. You will be entitled to 30% of the total funds, 5% for any
expenses incured by both parties  once this transaction is concluded. All
other necessary information will be sent to you as soon as i hear from
you.Please treat this proposal with the urgency it deserves.
You are advised to get back to me through
Ola Smith

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