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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: "RICHARD FREEMAN" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 07:48:24 +0100
Tel: + 44 753 624 0918
Fax: +44 705 361 9724
Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is Richard Freeman, a retired Barriter in UK. I am contacting you to assist in claiming funds totaling 10.8 million pounds belonging to my late Client by acting as his next of kin since he died along with his entire family members leaving behind no next of kin.
Reply if interested so I can get back to you with full details.
Thank you.
Richard Freeman

Anti-fraud resources: