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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: "Ben Clifford ESQ" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 09:52:58 -0800
Subject: FUNDING!!

Dear Sir/Madam,

Do you require extra funding for your business or funds to start a new project?
I am a lawyer and financial adviser, and part of our brief is to provide discreet financial services to high net worth clients with private investment and cash deposits in private accounts with offshore banks in tax heavens.
I represent unique clients, and under special circumstances will make available funds, for direct investment in an ongoing business or seed funds for a new one.
Interest rates are very friendly and negotiable depending on expected returns on investment.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, processing time is less than 3 weeks. Reply to EMAIL:

Barr Ben Clifford ESQ

Anti-fraud resources: