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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: "" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 01:57:52 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: From Mr James Michael


Please, I want to introduce myself and this business opportunity to
you.My name is Mr James Michael , a bank accountant,I will need your
assistance in this business transaction.I would like you to stand as
the next of kin
to my deceased customer,Mr David Clemetson, who died in a plane crash
January 31st 2000 plane crash.Check the website for the details of the
plane crash:

He was a wealthy medical doctor who made a deposit of $17Million with
our bank.He died without any registered next of kin and as such the
now have an open beneficiary mandate. If you are interested please do
me have your private telephone number so that I can give you
comprehensive details on what we are to do.

Send me the following information:

1. Your Full name :

2. Your private secured telephone number :

3. Your occupation :

4. Your home or office address :

I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.

Best Regards,

James Michael

Anti-fraud resources: