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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: Deborah Dege <>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 18:09:36 +0700 (ICT)
Subject: Dearest Friend,

Dearest Friend,
Please excuse me to introduce myself to you for the first time, I am Ms. Deborah Dege, a seventeen 17 years old girl and a South African by Nationality, I am a student of University of Cocody here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire, I am also the only child of late Mrs. Elizabeth Dege, a contractor and a well known businesswoman working with South African Government; my late mother died few days in the hospital after a little illness.

Before she died, I accompanied her to a business trip here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire, which after she deposited the sum of US$7,500,000.00 dollars in a bank here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire for other business projects.

I have also met with this bank as to claim this money, which the bank accepted to give the money to us and have asked me to present to them a foreign business partner to my late mother, so please I will need your assistance in this claim; I want you to provide to me a foreign bank account that would be use to receive this money in your country as a foreign business partner to my late mother.

I planed to offer you 20% of the total money for your kind assistance, 10% would be mapped aside for any expense you might made in the process of transferring and receiving the money in your bank account, 50% would be for me, and 20% for the charities and the less privileged ones in the society.

On your readiness to perform as above I would instruct the bank to transfer the money to your bank account as a foreign business partner to my late mother Mrs. Elizabeth Dege.

Best of regards
Ms. Deborah Dege.


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Anti-fraud resources: