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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: Joshua Ubaka <>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 23:53:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am an Account Officer ,My name is Joshua Ubaka,a Banker.. I am the personal Account Manager to Mr William Jonathan,a National of your country, who used to work with an Oil servicing Firm in Nigeria. Here in after shall be referred to as my client On April 21, 2005 my client, was involved in a car accident All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.Since then I have made several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client's extended Relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.

I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they Get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposits were lodged, particularly . Where the deceased had an account Valued at about ($17.5 million us dollars) has Issued me a notice to provide the next of kin Or have the account confiscated within the next ten official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3 years now.

I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased so that this account valued at ($ 17.5 million us dollars) can be paid to you . The sharing modality is till open and negociatable. An attorney will be contracted to help revalidate and notarize all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me by my email.

Joshua Ubaka

Anti-fraud resources: