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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: "Douglas Flint" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 21:24:01 +0800


I am the Director of HSBC Holdings Plc. I have a secured business suggestion for you. $30,000,000.00. I want you to assist me in transferring this funds out of my bank. There is no risk involved at all in this matter. Should you be interested please send me your:

1. Full name and Age.
2. Occupation
3. Private/office phone number.
4. Current residential address.
I shall provide you with more details of this transaction

Kind Regards,
Douglas J. Flint.

Anti-fraud resources: