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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:

Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 22:13:10 +0800


I am David Thorburn Chief Operating Officer, Santander Bank. I am getting in
touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar last
name and an investment placed under our banks management 10 years ago. I
believe would be of interest to you In the year 2002, the subject matter;
came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our private banking
division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of fifty million
united states dollars ($50,000,000,00).I want you to stand as the bona-fide
next of kin to the deceased.

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client; We share the
proceeds 50% for me, 50% for you Should you be interested i shall provide you
with more details of this transaction.

I await your response.

David Thorburn.

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Anti-fraud resources: