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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: "Clement Lau" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2020 16:23:55 -0000
Subject: RE:

?I am Clement Lau , Executive Director with the HKMA Hong Kong and I have a very sensitive and confidential brief for you. I have a proposal worth $47.1 Million USD for you. Please write back I will provide further details and instructions. This is a legitimate transaction; you will get 45% of the funds. Finally, please note that this must be concluded within two weeks.

I look forward to your response.

Clement Lau

Anti-fraud resources: