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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: "Nelson Sankoh" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 01:20:45 +0000
Subject: Urgent and Strictly Confidential

From Nelson Sankoh
Abidjan- Cote dIvoire


My name is Nelson Sankoh. I guess this letter may come to you as a surprise, since I had no previous correspondence with you. But I think we can know each other
more as we proceed in this relationship.

I am writting you to request you to be my Trustee and Manage my inherited fund while I continue and complete my ducation in your country. I lost my father last
year. My father was a serving director of the Agro-exporting board until his death. He was assassinated by the rebels during the political uprising.

Before his death he had deposited the sum of US$ 11 Million Concealed in a trunk box and deposited in a security company here in Cote d'Ivoire which is to be used
for the establishment of cocoa processing plant before his untimely death.

Being that this part of the world is experiencing political crises, I cannot invest this money here any long, despite the fact it had been my late father's
industrial plans.

I want you act as my late father's business partner and contact the security company office and request them to deliver the trunk box that contains the fund
to your address in your country.

I am offering you 15% of the total Amount as your commission. confirm your ineterest and readiness to help me so that i can give you more details.

I want you to show some level of maturity and keep this transaction confidential.

I am waiting to hear from you.

Yours sincerely,
Nelson Sankoh.

Anti-fraud resources: