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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: "Mr. Hank Smith" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 07:12:05 -0700
Subject: From Mr. Hank Smith

*Dear Friend,*

*I know this message will appear to you as a surprise but before i proceed,
My name is Mr. Hank Smith from UK and I work with CITIBANK INTERNATIONAL
PLC. LONDON BRANCH as the the auditing manager and I am contacting you via
email from my office that will be of an immense benefit to both of us. In my
department, I discovered an abandoned sum of ($16.5 million) Sixteen million
five hundred thousand USA Dollars in an account that belongs to one of our
deceased foreign customer Late Mr. Denis Cook an American citizen who
unfortunately lost his life in the accident of Osama Bin Laden Bombing of
World Trade centre on the 11th of September 2001 and The choice of
contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you live
particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction and the
confidentiality herein. This bank has been waiting for any of the relatives
or next of kin to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that and I
personally has been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for 2 years now
and with all the indications and information's there is no one to claim this
fund and my bank has decided to transfer the fund into the bank unclaimed
account for the bank use if no one is presented to them by me as the
beneficiary and i don't want that to happen because this is a golden
opportunity that comes once in a life time and i want us to grab it which
is the major reason i am contacting you to seek your consent to present you
as the next of kin /Will Beneficiary of the fund so that the proceeds of
this account valued at 16.5 Million Dollars can be paid to you for our
mutual benefit.*

*At the conclusion of this transfer The fund will be disbursed or shared in
these percentages, 60% to me and 40% to you . I have secured all necessary
legal documents and vital informations that can be used to back up this
claim we are making. All i need is to fill in your names to the ducuments
and legalise it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate
beneficiary. All I need now is your understanding,honesty,Co-operation,
Confidentiality and Trust to enable us see this transaction through. I
guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law. So you are required to
provide me the following items below so that we can proceed with the process
of the transfer as we have 5 working days to get this fund transferred into
any of your account. This is very very URGENT PLEASE.*

*1. Full Name
2. Your Telephone Number
3. Your Contact Address.*

*I decided to contact you hoping that you will find this proposal
interesting. Please on your confirmation of this message and indicating your
interest kindly send the required contact information as stated above to
enable me proceed with the process. Endeavor to let me know your decision
rather than to keep me waiting.*

*Awaiting your urgent response Immediately you read my message.*

Mr. Hank Smith

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