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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: "Mrs. Sandra Ortega Mera" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:26:05 +0200
Subject: Greetings from Ortega Mera's family

Dear Mr. Sir / Madam,

Greetings from Ortega Mera's family,

I consciously believe this message finds you in good spirits. It is my pleasure to write you after much consideration since I cannot be able to see you face to face at first.

Well I got your email from chamber of commerce here in United Kingdom after my Mom’s death. Let me now introduce myself. I am Mrs. Sandra Ortega Mera the only daughter of late Mrs. Rosalia Mera. You can read from the website below:

She died of stroke few months ago and before her death she discloses to me that she deposited huge amount of dollars ($1.2 Billion) with the Bank of England.

Though, according to my late Mother she deposited the money in the bank's suspense account, she disclosed to me where she kept the documents (Deposit Receipt) issued to her by the bank and instructed me to seek for a life time investment abroad for my kids. I have succeeded in locating the bank and confirmed the existence with most honest and confidentiality.

Now I am soliciting for your assistance to help me transfer this money out from England to your account abroad so that we should invest it in real estate business and also explore our fashion family business in your country because this is my only hope in life for my kids. Your handsome reward is negotiable and I promise to compensate you greatly.

Am waiting to hear from you so that we can discuss the modalities of this transaction. If this proposal is acceptable, please kindly contact me through the e-mail address below:

There will be no telephone and fax contact for security reasons.

Thanks for your kind attention and mutual understanding.

Best Regards,

Mrs. Sandra Ortega Mera.

Anti-fraud resources: