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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: Smith Ford <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:11:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Potential Partner

Re: Potential Partner

I am aware of the unsafe nature of the
internet, but due to the prevailing circumstances I don’t have any
other option than to seek for your partnership through this medium. I
want to present you as the next of kin to my late client who died
without a will because you have the same last name with him. All
arrangements will be made under a legitimate framework. Full details
will be disclosed to you on your expression of interest. I look forward
to doing good business with you.

Mr. Smith Ford

Anti-fraud resources: