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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: Jacob Phillips <>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 16:04:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Urgent Reply

Mr Jacob Phillips,
Phillips & Associates
Solicitors & Advocates of the Supreme Court Of Togo
No 16/18 Boulevard du la Karte
Lome Togo

My dear,

I am Mr. Jacob Phillips, a legal practitioner, I was the personal attorney to Mr. Bernard Jordan, an expatriate who was a private entrepreneur here in my country and unfortunately lost his life in a ghastly fire which engulfed his private residence in September 2003 alongside his wife and only daughter. Since then I have made several inquiries to the embassy here to locate any of my clients relatives, this has proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to make a search over the Internet, to locate a trustworthy partner who will assist me repatriate this fund for our mutual benefit hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund valued at US$7.3 million left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank where this huge amount was deposited as stipulated under section 23, paragraph b of the banking policy of our country.

The said Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty-one working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since that I have been mandated by the bank to present his next of kin, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid into your account. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary information needed to back you up for the claim.

All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangements that will protect you from any breach of the law. I look forward to your immediate response to this mail declaring your willingness to work with me to actualise this transaction. Be rest assured that there will be no atom of risk involved in the course of concluding this transaction as I have the sole mandate to present the next of kin who is automatically the benefactor of the funds involved.

Best Regards
Jacob Phillips Esq
Principal Attorney,
Lome Togo

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