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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: "Mr. James B. Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 00:02:11 -0800
Subject: Private Information

Dear Friend

This is my second letter to you, once more my name is James B. Smith, and I received information from here requesting for the next of kin to my deceased client. He made fixed deposit of some certain amount of money last three years before his death. The bank is aware of his death though he was not married neither did he leave a "WILL" nor Specified next of kin, the bank is anticipating someone to come along for the claims. As it is now, no one can put up claims except someone that I recommend and specifically referred from my department because I have been put in charge of this matter.

All efforts to get his family relatives have been abortive. I solicit that you allow me introduce you as his relative. He was aged 56. He lived and worked here as a foreigner and requested to be buried here.

Kindly let me know if you are interested so that I can give you further details and certain other documents to enable you contact the bank for release of the funds to you. I have spoken with the bank manager on this matter extensively and he is waiting for your introduction to the bank according to his directives.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law and will brief you more on the details upon your response. Furthermore you should endeavour to include the following information.

1; Your Full Name
2; Your direct telephone.
3; Your age
4; Contact address
5; Occupation

Please if you are interested then reply and notify me immediately as you are the only one I have contacted for this to enable me make an alternative arrangement if the need should arise. 40% of the funds goes to you while I get 60%.


James B. Smith
Private Information

Anti-fraud resources: