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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: "Helen Smith" <>
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2016 19:12:15 +0300 (EAT)
Subject: From Helen Smith


Greetings,this letter might surprise you because we have not met neither in
person nor by correspondence. But I believe it is one day that you get to know
somebody either in physical or through correspondence.

I am Helen Smith. I have a proposal to make, that might be of interest to you. I
am in possession of a large sum of money (U.S. $ 4,000,000.00)Four Million US
Dollars) The money was inherited from my late father who was the Chairman of the
Sierra Leon Gold and diamond Mining Corporation during the Sierra Leonine War
when Major Johnny Paul Koromah was The country's president.

The money is of no criminal origin as it was largely realized from black market
sale of alluvial gold dust during the war. The money has been deposited in a
Bank here in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). I now want to transfer this
money abroad and invest it in profitable ventures as the time is now ripe for
such move.

1.Firstly to assist me to transfer this money to any stable country abroad.2.To
assist me invest the money in profitable ventures in your country or any other
suitable country where you have good connections.3 To help me re-locate to the
suggested country.4 To manage the money in a profitable manner preferably a
joint venture deal with you.

For your assistance you will get 25% of the total amount Upon your request I
will give you further details of the plans and tell you more about myself but
you must treat as highly confidential for my security.

Helen Smith.

Anti-fraud resources: