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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: "Barr. Mensu Bola Esq." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 02:37:40 -0800

Dear Friend,

Please excuse me if I interfere into your privacy in this manner, I am Barrister Mensu Bola Esq. a solicitor at law and family attorney to late client who is
also a native of your country, who lives and work in Togo for many years before he died in a fatal car accident alongside his family. Since then I have done everything possible to trace the relatives of my late client without any luck.

I need your assistance urgently in repatriating the fund valued "USD$10.5M" that he left behind before it's confiscated by the finance firm Since both of you bears the same Family name, I can assure you that there is no risk involved as everything is legal with documentation.

Kindly contact me directly at ( for more information.
I’m waiting urgently for your positive response.

Yours Faithfully,
Barr. Mensu Bola Esq.
Tel: +228-90569965.

Anti-fraud resources: