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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: "Nicoll Christopher John" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 23:01:33 +0800
Subject: ENQUIRY

Good Day To You,

Though i have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have
approached you on this issue being that the Internet has been greatly abused
over the recent years and is very unsecured for in formations of vital
importance. I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means
could have been faster and more efficient than the E-mail.

I am Nicoll Christopher John, Staff of Ulster Bank (London).I am contacting
you concerning a deceased customer and an investment he placed under our
banks management four years ago to the tune of Fifty million united states
dollars($50,000,000,00).I would respectfully request that you keep the
contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the
information you come by as a result of this mail.I have been incharge of this
department for six years and to best of my knowledge,i have discharged my
duty with equity.

In the process of review of the financial report by my department, I
discovered that both of you have a similar last name, hence I contacted you
so that I can give you further briefing on my intention and how to disburse
the funds and estate he left behind.

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client; I am prepared
to place you in a position to instruct The security Firm to release the
deposit to you as the closest surviving relation.Upon receipt of the
deposit,I am prepared to share the money with you in half. That is:I will
simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to
you. We share then proceeds 50/50.

I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me
know and let me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man
and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a
reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking.

I will most welcome your prompt response via this
Email:( as that would enable us to
start something immediately.


Nicoll Christopher John

Anti-fraud resources: