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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: "Barrister Juan Mateu Bou" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2020 07:16:33 -0700
Subject: I Hope You Are Well

Hello My Dear,
I am Barrister Juan Mateu Bou, (Spanish Lawyer and Doctor in Law) an Attorney based in Madrid, Spain. My Client is an English and a Businessman that operated in Madrid and worldwide died from Corona-virus (COVID 19) after being infected on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.
My late client (name withheld for now) had no immediate family and died intestate (without will). Being his only Attorney before his demise, I have some privileged information and facts about my late client. The instruments/documents of his Estate are in my custody including ?11,500, 000.00 (Eleven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Euros)with Spanish bank.
I wish to make a very important, urgent and confidential business proposal to you. A business that will be of mutual benefit. Please treat with urgency and get back to me for details and modus operand. .
I will use my position as the clients personal attorney to guarantee the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please contact me via Tel: + 34 645 649 583, Fax: +34 951 560 033 Email:, upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand more on this transaction.
The intended transaction will be processed under legitimacy,which will protect me and you from any violation of law.
If you wish to achieve the goal with me, please kindly get back to me with your interest for further explanations and better understanding
Yours Sincerely,
Barrister Juan Mateu Bou
Attorney at Law.

Anti-fraud resources: