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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. Ming Hung Chen" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:37:14 -0500
Subject: ???

Good day to you,

It is with good spirit of heart I opened up this great opportunity to you.
My name is Ming Hung Chen, I presently work as a Senior Accounts Director,
Offshore Mortgage & Services with Bank of China, Hong Kong. I Work as part
of a bigger team that covers the entire Hong Kong region. I have taken
pains to find your contact through personal endeavors.

On routine audit check, I discovered an investment accounts that have been
dormant for the last 7yrs with monies totaling a little above (US$22
Million). Banking regulation/legislation in Hong Kong demand that I notify
the fiscal authorities after a statutory time period of 7yrs when dormant
accounts of this type are called in by the monitory regulatory bodies. The
above fact underscores my reason of writing and making the following
proposal to you.

Upon my investigations of the said account reveals that the investor died
in 2005 the exact time the account was last operated, the said investor
died as a result of heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart
condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the
tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia where they
all lost their lives and no next of kin to his estate has been found or
has come forward all these years. I am of the settled conviction that
using my insider leverage, working with you can secure the funds in the
account for us instead of allowing it pass as an unclaimed fund into the
coffer of the Chinese Government. This exactly is why I crave your
participation and co-operation.

I have seized all relevant documents (Legal and Banking) including access
to the very account of the deceased. That will facilitate my fronting you
as the claimant/sole beneficiary of the decease estate/huge capital (US$22
Million) and ultimately transfer the money to any account nominated by
I shall however leave out the final details of this transaction till I
receive an affirmation of your desire to participate. Be assured that I am
on top of the situation. There will be no risk involved whatsoever if you
agree to come on board. Needless to say, UTMOST CONFIDENTIALITY is of
vital important.

I guarantee that the transaction will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect us from any bridge of law. To affirm your
willingness and cooperation to my proposal, please let me have your
response as soon as possible.

(1) Full Name:
(2) Contact Address:
(3) Occupation:
(4) Telephone:

Your prompt response will be highly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Mr. Ming Hung Chen
Snr.Accounts Director

Anti-fraud resources: