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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 Oliver Mamallo" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2010 00:40:50 -0000
Subject: Compliments of the season

Good Day!

lam Oliver Mamallo and I work with Lloyds TSB Group Plc Uk.
I have a proposal to discuss with you concerning one of our Deceased customers who is a national of your country.
As soon as I hear from you and once we are in agreement.
I will be needing your assistance in making some business investments in real estate, oil & gas and any other lucrative sphere of business in your country.

Owing to the urgency of this transaction, I will appreciate an immediate response from you to confirm the receipt of my mail. As soon as I get a response from you,I shall furnish you with details of the transaction and the urgency at which I need to get the funds transferred out of England.

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Anti-fraud resources: