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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: "Mrs. Kathleen Mellin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2019 07:21:20 -0800
Subject: Good Day

My Dear Beloved Friend,
My name is Ms. Kathleen Mellin from United Kingdom and i was
married to late Dr. Kenneth R. Mellin who worked with an oil
company in Spain before he died in a car accident on his way
back home from work. My husband and i did not have any children
and i'm 72 Years old. When my late husband was alive he had a
fixed deposit of 6,500,000.00 GBP ( Six million five hundred
thousand British Pounds Sterling ) with a Bank.
Presently this money is still with the bank and the bank management
just wrote me as the beneficiary to come and claim the money
or rather issue a letter of authority to someone to receive the money
on my behalf. I am presently in the hospital where I have been
undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my
ability to talk and my personal doctor have informed me that I have
just few months to live, so I think the best thing to do is to use
the money for charity purposes. I want a person who is trustworthy
that I will make the new beneficiary to my late husband's funds in
the bank so that he/she can get the money and utilize 70% of this
money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around the world.
As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact details
of the Bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will
prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund.
Ms. Kathleen Mellin.

Anti-fraud resources: