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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: "Gareth Demos" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 10:11:52 +0000
Subject: Hello

I am sorry for the embarrassment this mail might cause you, as we have not
met before. I am Mr. Gareth Demos, a Bank Accountant. I am writing to
solicit your assistance in the transfer of $27.597Million United States

This fund is the excess of what my branch made as profit during the 2005
financial year. I have already submitted annual report for that year to my
head office as I have watched with keen interest as the bank will never know
of this excess fund,

I placed this amount of $27.597Million United States dollars to an Escrow
Coded account without a beneficiary (anonymous) to avoid trace. I do need to
stress that there are practically no risk involved in this transaction. It's
going to be a bank-to-bank transfer.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money due
to civil service code which form its civil servants from owing or operating
foreign currency account coupled with the fact that the fund is huge thus I
am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your
bank account on my behalf I intend to part 50% of this fund to you while 50%
shall be for me.

All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so
that the fund can be legally processed to your name and be transferred to
your account without any problem. If you accept this offer, I will
appreciate your timely response with your contact phone and fax numbers so
that I can give you more details to enable us precede.

With Regards,
Mr. Gareth Demos

Anti-fraud resources: