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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: "Vincent Cheng" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 14:39:45 +0100
Subject: good day

Good Day,

I am Mr. Vincent Cheng Hoi Chuen, GBS, JP Chairman of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.

Our client BRIGADIER AMER ALI NAYEF, a businessman and also who was with the Iraqi forces,
made a fixed deposit, of Twenty Two million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch,
a number of notices was sent to him, before the war which began in 2003 and also after the war but,
no response came from him. We later found out that Brigadier Amer Ali Nayef was shot dead along with his son,
Khalid Amer also in the force as they left the family home for work in the south of the city.

After more inquiry it was also discovered that the late Brigadier,
did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit.
What bothers me most is according to the laws of my country at the expiration of 7 years the funds will
be reverted to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody comes for the funds, Against this scenery,
I have all the information needed to claim these funds and I want you to act as the beneficiary of the deposit,
there is no risk involved in this matter, as we are going to adopt a legitimate method and the attorney will
prepare all the necessary documents.

All I require is your honest co-operation and I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please accept my apologies, keep my confidence and disregard this
email if you do not appreciate this proposition I have offered you.

All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance and as soon
as I receive your return mail Via my email address: and I will let you know
what is required of you.

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Best Regards,
Mr. Vincent Cheng

Anti-fraud resources: