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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: grace obaseki <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 15:54:44 +0100
Subject: Bless You.

Hello Dear, I presume this letter will come to you as a surprise, but as things unfold,we will know each other better. I will start by introducing myself to you. I am Mrs. Grace Obaseki, the wife of Chief Jackson Gaius Obaseki,the recently retired Managing Director, and Chief Executive, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). I am really sure that you will be of a good assistance after going throughly through this letter. For many years of marriage now between me and my husband, I have not given birth, and this has really troubled my husband. As a result of the respect given to local tradition culture and custom here in Nigeria, my husband has decided to break the marriage and I have divorced from him. As at now,I am no longer Assured of a matrimonial home,hence I seek your urgent assistance and help which I know will go a long way in getting me settled finally. I want to use this opportunity to move the sum of (US$18M) into your custody for safe keeping, pending my arrival in your country. This said amount was given to my husband as gratification from some Foreign Oil Companies he helped in getting Allocation for the Drilling of Crude Oil in Nigeria. As a civil servant, he does not want to be exposed, hence he gave me this money to keep so that he can be exonerated from the eyes of government security operatives in Nigeria. I contacted my direct sister who introduced an idea for me which I followed.The money was then neatly packed in three boxes and tagged as Diplomatic Documents and film materials(PERSONAL EFFECTS).I then deposited the boxes for save keeping in a security/finance company in nigeria on January 3rd 2004. The security company do not know that the three boxes contains money This was done for my personal security reasons.The deposit paper reads: three trunk boxes containing film materials and diplomatic documents.Please take proper note of this.Some top government officials in Nigeria use this method to transfer money to their foreign partners outside the country for confidential reasons.The little money I use for personal expenses here has finished that is why I needed your assistance to process the release of the boxes from the security company where it was deposited. I want these boxes to taken out of the security company to your destination so that I can be able to open the boxes and retreive the money for my expenses and to arrange myself for business investment.Please hasten up and help me to recieve these boxes. Be informed that this money is not connected with drugs; money laundry, firearms and looting which I believe will put fears in you to render the required assistance needed from you and consequently withdrawing your help for security reasons. Hence the source of this said money is clean andclear, Rather,to help me,kindly prepare your mind so that I can direct you to the Security Company where the boxes were deposited for the necessary release to your destination on my behalf under diplomatic immunity.During your contact with the Security Company,tell them that you are my business associate and that I instructed that the boxes I deposited with them be sent to your address. Be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free,and my husband will not raise any alarm because the deposite documents was written in my name and in my possession now. As soon as this money is moved to you, and you confirm to me that you have received it, I will be coming to meet you up there in your country where I wish to live the rest of my life. I will be offering you 10% of this money if you show your personal commitment in this transaction and 2.5% of the money will be used to settle any personal expenses that have been incured along the line of the transaction and for all your help at this time of need. Be informed that this transaction will not last more than 14 working days and it will be concluded because every arrangement has been put in place. Your positive response will be highly appreciated. God Bless You.Yours faithfully,Mrs. Grace Obaseki
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