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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: "Richard Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 13:31:43 -0400
Subject: From Richard

I am writing you this email to solicit your co-operation and
partnership in a business that would benefit us immensely.

I would like to name you the beneficiary to my late client's fund who
died along with his next-of-kin during a summer vacation in the Middle

I shall offer you 50 percent of the fund, and you will be in custody of
my intended investment in your country with my share.

Do reply for details.

Richard Williams

Anti-fraud resources: