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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: "Ralph Kelvin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 23:48:38 -0700
Subject: Can I Trust You???? awaiting your quick response!

Please I need your consent to present You OR your company as Beneficiary/Recipient of funds amounting to 16.5M in an offshore escrow account. The said funds originated from excess over-head cost in one of our government's department. Although we would need a more secure medium to communicate about this, I would appreciate your prompt response. Also include your direct telephone number where I can reach you easily. If you consider my proposal, I shall be glad to share with you on a 60/40 basis after the funds hit your account. (60% for me and 40% for you). Anticipating your prompt response.

Anti-fraud resources: