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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: "Frank Merkerson" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 12:03:56 +1100 (EST)
Subject: Business Deal


This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a
day that people meet and become great friends and business partners. I am
Mr. Frank Merkerson, currently Head of Corporate affairs with a reputable
bank here in my country.

I write you this proposal in good faith, believing that I can trust you
with the information I am about to reveal to you. I have an urgent and
very confidential business proposition for you. On November 6, 2005, a
Mexico Foreign Oil consultant/contractor with the CHEVRONPETROLEUM
CORPORATION, Mr. Guajardo Villareal Camilo Sergio made a (Fixed deposit)
for 60 calendar months, valued at $39,786,000.00 USD (Thirty-Nine Million
Seven Hundred And Eighty Six Thousand United Staes Dollar Only) in my bank
and I happen to be his account officer before I was moved to my present
position recently. Upon maturity in 2010, as his account officer, it is my
duty to notify him on the maturity date so I sent a routine notification
to his forwarding address but the letter was returned undelivered.

After sometime, I tried sending back the letter, but it was again returned
and finally I discovered from his contract employers, Chevron Petroleum
Corporation that Mr. Guajardo Villareal Camilo Sergio died as a result
ghastly car accident during one of his trips to his country Mexico. On
further investigation, I discovered that Mr. Guajardo Villareal Camilo
Sergio family wife and only daughter died during the accident and was the
reason why he did not declare any next of kin or relation in all his
official documents,including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank and did
not leave any WILL. This sum of $39,786,000.00 USD have been floating and
placed under dormant/unserviceable account by my bank management since no
one have heard from the owner since 2005. I wish to let you know that all
the investigation I have made so far, my bank management is not aware of
it, I am the only one that have the information.

With the recent change of government/law in my country and with their
efforts to support the United Nations in checkmating terrorism aid,
government will pass a new financial control law which will give the
government authority to interrogate account owners of above $10,000,000.00
to explain the source of the funds, making sure it is not for terrorism
support. If I do not move this money out of the country immediately, by
end of the year the government will definitely confiscate the money,
because my bank cannot provide the account owner to explain the source of
the money.

I cannot directly transfer out this money without the help of a foreigner
and that is why I am contacting you for assistance. As the Account Officer
to late Mr. Guajardo Villareal Camilo Sergio, coupled with my present
position and status in the bank as Head of Retail Banking Group, I have
the power to influence the release of the funds to any foreigner that
comes up as the next of kin to the account, with the correct information
concerning the account, which I shall give you. All documents to enable
you claim this fund will be carefully worked out and there is practically
no risk involved, the transaction will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law, beside my
country is porous and anything goes.

If you accept to work with me, I want you to state how you wish us to
share the funds in percentage, so that both parties will be satisfied. If
you are interested, contact me as soon as you receive this message so we
can go over the details.

Thanking you in advance and May God bless you.

Please, treat with utmost confidentiality. I shall send you copy of the
deposit certificate issued of Mr. Guajardo Villareal Camilo Sergio when
the deposit was made for your perusal. I wait your urgent response.

Frank Merkerson

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