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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: "DAVID WEST & ASSOCIATES" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:59:34 +0100

Legal Practitioner/Solicitors & Advocators of Law
Idowu Taylor Street Victoria Island.
Dear Sir/Madam,
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the Estate of my late client, I
once again try to notify you as my earlier letter to you returned
undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address
partaking the WILL, on the 27th January 2003, my client, his wife and their
only Child were involved in the Ikeja bomb explosion, For reference, please
visit this site: My
client and his family unfortunately lost their lives as they were living
very close to the Army barracks where it started.
I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my
client before it is confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank valued
at Two Million Dollars my client also had One Million Five Hundred thousand
Dollars deposited in security firm in London, as he operated a dual business
venture which makes a total deposit valued at Three Million Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars lodged. Both the bank and security firm in
London has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin as his personal
attorney or the funds will be confiscated. This may sound strange and
unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man,
he must have been in contact with you in the past or possibly you were
simply recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished
you good.
Until his death, my deceased client was a member of the Institute for
Philanthropy as well other Recognized Organizations and associations
worldwide. He had a very good heart and was a true philanthropist. His great
philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time, His WILL is
now ready for execution. According to him this money is to support
humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in your society.
Please if I succeed in reaching you this time around as I am hoping, kindly
endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.
I hope to hear from you in no distance time either through this E-mail:
Sincerely yours,
Legal Practitioner/Solicitors & Advocators of Law
Idowu Taylor Street Victoria Island.

Anti-fraud resources: