fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Fraud email example:

From: "HSBC Bank" <>
Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 13:49:03 +0000

From The Desk of:Thomas Graham
Head of Trustee and Depository
Institutional Fund Services, Europe.
HSBC Bank Plc 24th Floor
8 Canada Square
London E14 5hq.

Good Day,

Having obtained your contact from the internet and coupled with my deep
interest to invest
in your country, I decided to contact and solicit your mutual assistance at
all cost. I am
Thomas Graham, Manager, head of trustee and depository institutional fund
service HSBC Bank
Plc London. Level 26, 8 Canada Square, London. On January 6th 2002, one
Mr.Morris Thompson ,a National of your country, a consultant/contractor with
Gardiner & Theobald, a leading
firm of project and cost management consultants, made a numbered time
(Fixed)Deposit, valued
at £14,500,000.00 (Fourteen million five hundred British pounds sterling)
for twelve months
in my Bank Branch Upon Maturity, we sent a routine notification to his
forwarding address but got no reply.

After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his
contract employers
(Gardiner & Theobald) that Mr. Morris Thompson died in an air disaster on
October 31st, 2000. On further investigation, it was discovered that he died
without making a WILL (En-state) and all attempts to trace his next of kin
was fruitless. On further investigations, it was discovered that Late Mr.
Morris Thompson did not declare any next of kin or relations in all his
official documents, including his Bank Deposit paper work here at the Bank.
The total sum, £14,500,000.00 is still in my bank and the interest is being
rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever
came forward to claim it. In accordance with the Banking Federal Laws and
constitution, at the expiration of 6 (six) years, the money will revert to
the ownership of the Government if nobody applies as the next of Kin to
claim the funds.

Consequently, I shall present you as a foreign partner to stand in as the
next of kin to late Mr. Morris thompson so that you and I can benefit from
this. Upon acceptance of this proposal, I shall send to you detailed
information on how this deal would be transacted.

We shall employ the services of a solicitor for the drafting of the LAST
WILL & TESTAMENT of Late Mr. Morris Thompson and to obtain all other
relevant papers in your name for the necessary documentation for payment
approval in my bank headquarters in your favor.The money will be shared in
this ratio: Sixty percent for me, thirty five percent for you and five
percent for any incidental expenses during the course of this transaction. I
guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will
protect you from any breach of the law as I will use my position as the
Manager, to secure approvals and guarantee the successful execution of this
transaction. It will take only 7-10 working days to conclude this

Please be informed that your utmost confidentiality is required. If this
interests you, please reply me immediately via Email and please include your
private phone number for voice contact and fax number so that I can provide
you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand
the transaction better.

Awaiting your urgent reply via the email below.

Yours Faithfully,
Thomas Graham

Anti-fraud resources: