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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: "Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2010 01:51:47 +0200
Subject: Good day,

Good day,
Dear Friend
I am Joe Smith, the client manager of a Finance house here in Europe. I saw your contact during my private
search at the information centre and I have a deep believe that you will be very honest, committed and capable
of assisting me in this business venture.

It is based on this that I am contacting you to stand as the beneficiary to a late client of the Finance House
so that the total sum of $12.5million (Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) will be released
and paid to you as the next-of-kin to the deceased.

All documents, and proof to enable you get the funds have been carefully worked out as I have secured it from different
offices concerned for the smooth transfer of the fund to you.If this proposal satisfies you, please respond to me with

I anticipate your urgent response to enable us proceed

Best Regards,
Joe Smith
Phone: +31659005891
Fax: +31847301026

Anti-fraud resources: