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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: "Lau Li Yeung" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:50:39 +0630
Subject: Reply at your convenience

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you with a great sense of urgency having found your name by coincidence and noted your posts to be particularly honest in nature. I have no time to establish any more than a fleeting relation.

However, as I have a large sum of currency which I must transfer out of my country of origin but only if you alone are able to help! Trust that your immediate attention to this matter will be well rewarded!

My private email address is:


Lau Li Yeung

Anti-fraud resources: