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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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 17:41:10 -0700

Chief Audits Director; Banco Santander SA.

Dear Friend,

It is my humble pleasure to solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. My Name is CARLOS MIGUEL FERNANDEZ, the Chief Audits Director in the Santander Bank - Madrid Spain. I have decided to contact you on this mutually beneficial transaction. During my Auditing of the Bank's Accounts for last month, I came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person (MARWAN EL-KHATIB ABDULLAH). A Syrian Citizen who was among the people that Died during the recent war in Syria. His death occured so unfortunately because he was an Oil Magnate here in Madrid Spain and he has some companies in Syria because his Family based there. During his visit to Oversee his companies and entire Family in Syria, the War started, and he died along with his Family.

Before his Death, he had the sum of US$37.5Million in a Fixed Deposit Account in this Bank and the Money matured since December last year. Right now, the Money is lying unclaimed in our custody, there is NO next of kin mentioned in his file, and there is no how we can reach any of his relatives. The amount involved is US$37,500,000.00 (Thirty Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars). I will use my exalted position in this Bank to present you as his Next of Kin; as you can be his relative, friend or Cousin and the Money (US$37.5Million) will be Safely transferred into your own bank account in your country.

This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address to enable the preparation of necessary documents in your favour to show that you are the next of kin to the deceased. There is no risk involved at all, the paperwork for this transaction will be done legally, and will guarantee the successful execution of the Fund's transfer into your account. If you are interested, please reply immediately.

Immediately I receive your response indicating your interest, I shall send you more details.

Thanks and regards,

Chief Audits Director; Banco Santander SA.

Anti-fraud resources: