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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: Kathleen Benz <>
Reply-To: Kathleen Benz <>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:19:46 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello


sent you an email a few days ago, and am unsure of its arrival at your
end destination. However, I would like to bring to your awareness of the
urgency of my situation. Let me take a moment to write again to let you
know the reason I contacted you.

I am a white single mother, 49
year old from  South Africa who needs to make my fortune work to provide
for my son and I am looking for investment opportunities for him
oversea specifically to secure his financial future.

I have a
bachelor's degree in Computer Science and was a Systems Analyst
/Programmer. In past years I worked as Business Development Manager for
an EPC company in Ivory Coast owned by my late husband, the company
whose focus is on the upstream Oil & Gas market. The company was
sold after I was diagnosed with a medical condition, a pancreatic cancer
and cannot handle the stress and pressure of the job which provoked a
flare-up within my late husband family members since I have few months
to live.

Due to my situation, I need your assist to protect the
financial future of my son and get your planning guide towards making a
possible million dollars ($4.3milion) oversea investment opportunities
for him in your country for safe keep. If you can help me handle any
investment in your country on behalf of my son, then do not hesitate to
contact us.

Looking forward to reading from you soon.

Thank you and warm regard,

Mrs Kathleen Roseline Benz.

Anti-fraud resources: