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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: "David Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 16:42:12 +0300

My dear friend,

Hello am Mr.David Williams a citizen of Ghana ,I am a banker and I have packaged a transaction that worth four million five hundred thousand united state dollars ($4,500,000.00); accrued from compensations by contractors who where assisted with loans from the bank without the normal collateral when I was in position to do the business. The compensations were made by the contractors after returning the loan within the stipulated time. This was not detected by the renowned auditors from my head office.

I have moved the funds into what the bank call Escrow Call Account with no beneficiary.

Meanwhile as you know I can not be directly connected to this money for obvious reasons. So my contacting you is to assist me receive the funds in your bank account in your country; which I know is possible if you liaise properly with me and get 30% of the total funds as your benefit.

I want you to stand as the depositor/beneficiary to the fund and apply to the bank international remittance department for the transfer of the fund to your nominated bank account for our benefits.

The transfer will be made via swift and it will be a Bank-to-Bank wired transfer. Can I trust you and can you work with me?


Mr.David Williams

Anti-fraud resources: