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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: "Martins Hoffman" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 10:18:45 -0500
Subject: Get back to me !!

Dear Friend
I am a financial consultant in the UK , I am contacting you in respect
of my late client fund valued 12.7Million British Pounds deposited with a bank here
in London which is about to be confiscated by his bank after many years unclaimed,
I decided to contact you because you bear the same last name with him.
Kindly indicate your interest by sending me your Full name, Age ,
Marital status, Postal address, Job, phone number ;
You will be entitled to 50 %; 40 % for me and 10 % to defray all cost.
Yours Sincerely
Martins Hoffman

Anti-fraud resources: