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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. Barry William" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 19:37:00 +0100
Subject: Business Relationship.


Good Day

It may surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no
previous correspondence between us. My name is Mr. Barry William, a United
Kingdom national and personal Attorney to a late foreigner, who died
without leaving a WILL behind and will hereinafter called my client.

My purpose of contacting you is for you to help secure the funds left
behind by my late client, to avoid it being confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the Bank; this fund is valued £8.800.000.00 (Eight
Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) deposited by my client
before his death. The Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of
kin or the account will be declared unserviceable and the fund diverted to
the Bank treasury. Despite all efforts to get a hold of someone related to
this man has proved futile; hence, I made this contact due to the fact that
you have the same last name. I am actually asking for your consent to
present you to the Bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of my late client's
funds so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to your account,
then we can share the fund on a mutually agreed percentage.

I’ll provide all the legal documentations needed to back up your claims as
my client's next of Kin. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable
us achieve this transaction. The intended transaction will be executed
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any infraction of
the law. However, if this business proposition offends your moral ethics,
do accept my sincere apology.

If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get back
to me.

I will appreciate your understanding.

Best Regards
Mr. Barry William

Anti-fraud resources: