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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: "Smith Lee" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 21:22:04 +0100
Subject: Reply urgently

I have a proposition for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I
in any manner compel you to honor against your will.Let me start by
introducing myself. I am Dr.Smith Lee, Director of Operations
of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd,Sai Wan Ho Branch. I have a mutual beneficial
business suggestion for you.

1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust ?

Absolute confidentiality is required from you.Besides, I will use my connection
to get some documents to back up the fund so that the fund can not be
question by any authority.

More information await you in my next response to your email message.

Treat as very urgent.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr. Smith Lee

Anti-fraud resources: