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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: "Ben Umar" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 14:24:30 +0000
Subject: Please read carefully

Dear Friend,

Is my pleasure for writing you this letter, hope you are fine? I want to use this opportunity to introduce myself well to you, I am Ben Umar, The son of a late Chief Agyman Umar of D R CONGO, I came to know you in the course of my search for a reliable and God fearing partner and I decide to contact you because I believe you are a reputable person and I felt you can help us over this confidential matter. I count on your integrity and honesty to be able to handle this business. I have a trunk box that contain $20million U.S DOLLARS which is already in U.S.A.

The consignment is right now in America, My Late father business partner Mr. Richard Williams, who was suppose to receive this consignment was asking for 50% which I and my mother did not agree on for any reason, that is why we have to stop the delivery to him immediately. We are ready to give you 20% from the total money because that was the initial agreement we had with my late father partner, Mr. Richard Williams before he later change his mind due to greed which is the reason why we had to stop the delivery to him.

The director of the shipping company just inform us that if we can not provide a new business partner within this period of time, that the consignment we be return back to Ghana. So we need you to stand as my family trustee to receive the consignment in the United State or we can arrange with the diplomat to bring the consignment to your home address in your country. If you are willing to help us receive this consignment, all you just have to do is to contact the shipping company here in Ghana so that they can give you instruction to their agent holding the consignment in America. And that reminds me the shipping company does not know the content of the box, because it was deposited as a family treasure.

Please do get back to me with my personal email:

Ben umar,
For the family.

Anti-fraud resources: