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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: "Mdu Shabane" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 13:01:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Agriculture land reform & rural development

Our Ref : MR. Mdu Shabane
After my official inquiry from the foreign trade office of the chambers of commerce & industry here in Johannesburg South Africa, I decided to contact you but I did not disclose the intention to anyone else because of the delicate nature of the project and decided to reach you directly to solicit for your assistance and guidelines in making a business investment and transfer of US$25,000,000.00(twenty-five million) to your country within the next few days.
Please, I must plead for your confidence in this transaction. I work with the Department of (Agriculture. land reform& rural development) in Kimberley which is in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. I am currently in need of a silent foreign partner whose identity we can use to transfer this sum of money. But at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this profitable business investment until I get your response by email, this fund accrued from over inflated contract executed by foreign contractors, through our private connections. The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from  bank.
By virtue of my position as a civil servant in my country I cannot acquire this money in my name because I am not allowed by the civil service code of conduct to own or operate bank accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand, it is not safe for us to keep the money here due to security reasons; hence I have decided to look for an overseas silent partner who could work with me to facilitate transfer of this fund for our mutual benefit, hence the reason for this email.
My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as
follows: 50% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance in facilitating the transfer, while the remaining 50% belongs to me. You will be free to take out your commission immediately after the money hits your account in your country. Since our objective is to invest the money in a foreign country, it would be appreciated if you could also help us with advices and direction on investing into profitable ventures in your country.
The funds are with bank special account and I can send you details of the account to convince you that this transaction is real. All we need to do is give you an approval from the ministry which will authorize the bank to transfer the funds to your bank account.
If you can handle this please forward to me your contact details.
Mr. Mdu. Shabane

Anti-fraud resources: