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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: Alexander <>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 22:20:35 -0700 (PDT)

I am Alexander Joe. Personal attorney to late Mr. John Thomas,a foreign national and a construction engineer.I have the pleasure to contact you on this subject matter.

My late client died along with his entire family while on holiday in Asia Earth Quake Disaster (Phuket Island in Thailand on December 2004.(TSUNAMI DISASTER)
He left the sum of USD$7.5M with a bank and ever since his death,the bank has asked me to provide his next of kin.

I have the pleasure to contact you so that you will stand as his bonafide next of kin and claim this money which he left behind.

On hearing from you,I shall give you a comprehensive information's of what to do as regards to this.

Best Regards & God Bless
Alexander Joe

Anti-fraud resources: