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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: "Bramley & Co Associates." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 02:31:42 -0400
Subject: Confidential Proposal.

Dear Friend,
This is a personal letter directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I am David Bramley, a solicitor at law and a personal attorney to Late Mr. Darren James, A citizen of the United States of America herein referred to as my client, who worked as an independent contractor with mining companies here in Johannesburg.
On the 20th of November 2004 my client Mr. Darren James, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Pretoria Road and all occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several inquiries to locate any of his extended relatives, this has proved unsuccessful. I have made several inquiries to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
I have contacted you to assist in receiving this fund into your account valued at $23,500,000.00(Twenty Three Million Five Hundred United Sates Dollars) left behind by my client with a Bank here in Johannesburg before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this amount was deposited.
My proposition to you is to present you to the bank as the Next of kin and beneficiary of my deceased client so that the bank will pay this $23.500, 000, 00  to you so that we can share the amount on a mutually agreed percentage of 60% for me 40% for you. All legal documents to back up your claim as the deceased Next of Kin will be provided by me. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I will guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
In order to present you as the next of Kin and beneficiary of the funds, I will require you to send me the following information.
1. Your Full Name:
2. Your Private Telephone Numbers and Fax Number
3. Your Contact Address. (House Address)
And until the whole documents are secured legally, I want this fund to remain known only to you and I because of my position and close relation to the deceased.
Your immediate response towards this mail will be highly appreciated
Yours Sincerely,
Advocate David Bramley
Principal Attorney: Bramley & Co Associates.
Address:97 Wes Street,Sandton,Johannesburg,
Republic of South Africa
Direct Telephone: +27787004077

Anti-fraud resources: