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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: "Helen Tan" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 02:26:54 -0300 (ART)

Dearly Beloved,

I am Mrs Helen Tan suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Dato
Thomas Tan,a shipping tycoon notable for his great wealth,influential
extended family,and charitable activities all his life before his death.
Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child.
My husband died after a protracted illness in April 17, 2010.

My late husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the
less-privileged individuals in the society, as we both had passion for
those people who cannot help themselves due to physical disability or
financial predicament. I can adduce the fact that, we needed a Child from
this relationship which never came. When my late husband was alive he
invested in properties the sum of 25,000,000,00(Twenty Five Million United
States Dollars) when converted from Malaysia

Ringgit, which he derived from his vast investment in capital market with
a Security Company and named me as the sole beneficiary of this trust
funds upon his demise (all records are kept with my family lawyer).

Presently, the funds is still with the Security Company in Malaysia.

I have decided to Will to you 5,000,000,00usd to help in fulfilling the
wishes of my late husband and i because i had just been told by my doctor
that i have few days to live.

I have authorized my Private Attorney Patrick Hassan in Malaysia whom i
communicate with via emails everyday,to issue a Letter of Authority in
your favor to the Security Company handling this properties and this will
empower you as the beneficiary of this fund,he would also endorse my WILL
where i will include your name as one of my beneficiaries. My happiness is
that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be kind hearted all
through your life.

I want you to immediately contact my Attorney through his email and provide for him all that he may
require to finalize this arrangement, please make sure to maintain a
confidential and Cordial relationship with him even in my absence because
he is a very Trust worthy and caring person.

Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.

With Love,
Mrs Helen Tan

Anti-fraud resources: