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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: Dieter Bethke <>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2022 16:12:42 +0100
Subject: I wait for your response

I needed your cooperation urgently!

How are you doing? I am Dieter Bethke, a German citizen. I personally represent a high profile and wealthy Government Officer in Monagas, Venezuela who has designated One Hundred Million Dollars for investment or loans to individuals, firms and corporate bodies at 2% interest rate per annum. He discreetly instructed me to get an investment manager who will be faithful and capable of investing the funds. I will bestow enormous trust in your honesty and competence to efficiently handle the investment of the funds when it's remitted into your account soonest. The funds will be processed and released to your bank through Bank Wire Transfer TM103 block funds by our correspondent international remittance bank in the USA or UK, we have perfected a workable, legitimate and secure method of releasing the funds to you. Tell me if you can handle this, if you can't, don't let this be known by any other person. It's between you and me. For more information reply email to: /

Yours faithfully,
Dieter Bethke, (CFP)
Investor's Mandate/ Financial Adviser.

Anti-fraud resources: