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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: "Dr Buba William." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 07:59:04 -0700

< Greatings,
I am aware that this is an unconventional way of relaying an important message such as this. I did try without success to locate both your contact address or phone/fax number and as such, I resorted in contacting you via email. I am Dr Buba William, An investment consultant working with Barclays Bank Ghana Ashanti Region Branch at their offshore department.
I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable to keep TOP SECRET. During one of our periodic auditing I discovered a dormant accounts with holding balance of US $25.8 Million US Dollars only. If you are not familiar with Dormant Accounts,
I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received. If you know that you are capable to handle large or small amount on trust and can keep secret and ready to take 50% and I will take 50%, then get back to me immediately with your details by return mail at<> tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to receive the above information.
I want to re-assure you that this business is 100% risk free the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect us from any breach of the law.
Please endeavor to provide me the following in your reply:
1.Your Full Name:
2.Your Contact Address:
3.Your Profession:
4.Your Age:
5.Your Phone:
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.
Yours Sincerely,
Dr Buba William.

Anti-fraud resources: