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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: "GARY HOFFMAN" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2019 02:51:11 -0700
Subject: Urgent message from Gary Hoffman Esq... !

Hello dear,
Hoffman & Associate Chambers is conducting a standard process investigation and we  would like you to assist with this independent inquiry.
My name Gary Hoffman. I am an attorney at law, private investigator and also a reunion counselor/analyst. This investigation and inquiry involves my client, who shares the same last name with you and also the circumstances surrounding deposited amount in one of the banks here in USA prior to his untimely death.
My client, his wife and only daughter died in an auto crash in June 2017 and no successor in title over the investments made here in London. The essence of this communication with you is to present you as the heir/next of kin to the deceased so that the deposited amount USD 7,500,000 {Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand USD} can be paid to you as the successor hence I cannot find any of the relatives of the deceased.
The bank has given me an ultimatum as his lawyer to present the next of kin within 14 days otherwise his assets will be moved to the government treasury. I want us to utilize this opportunity hence I have tried to locate any of the relatives but to no avail. I will provide all relevant legal documents to facilitate the transfer of the money to you and all I need is your full cooperation. If you are interested in this business, please let me know immediately so that I can give you more information as to how this business will be completed.  Kindly send the following information if you are interested in this transaction:
1.      Your full name
2.      Contact address
3.      Contact telephone and mobile numbers
4.      Age and occupation.
I look forward to your reply.
Gary Hoffman.
Principal Partner, Hoffman & Associate Chambers.

Anti-fraud resources: