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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: "William & Dorothy Law Firm." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2014 11:03:27 -0700

Dear Friend,
This is my second letter to you to notify you again that I need you as a partner who I have decided to list as a beneficiary to the estate of my late client with a cash deposit of $18,000,000.00 US Dollars in a private security company.  I need your response to get this enlisted in the codicil and last testament of the deceased.Further details shall be availed to you in your acceptance for this pending transaction.
Thank You.
William Peterson.
(Tel: +44-703-180-0873).
William & Dorothy Law Firm.
Personal Injury and Investment Attorneys

Anti-fraud resources: