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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: John Geoffrey <>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2023 08:30:55 +0000

Good Day Dear,
I am Barrister John Geoffrey from LONDON UK, the attorney at-law to Late
Eng. Michael, who has the same last name as you, A national of your
country. who used to work as the Director of an OIL COMPANY base in
California, Since you have the same last name as him, I have contacted you
to assist in Repatriating the money and property left behind by my client
before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank here.
These huge deposits were lodged particularly with the "FMWEST BANK" An
affiliate of Commercial Bank of California where Mr.Michael had an
account valued at about $11.5 million dollars, Get back to me so that we
can talk on how the FMWEST BANK can transfer the fund into your account.
I wait for your reply

Anti-fraud resources: