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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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Fraud email example:

From: "john smith" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:30:19 +0200



This letter is not intended to cause you any embarrassment in whatever form,
rather is in good faith from a family in dear need of assistance,following
knowledge of your high repute andtrustworthiness, is borne out of this
difficultsituation that our family has been engulfed in sinceour father and
bread winner of our family was forcedto relinquish his position.

My name is MR.JOHN SMITH,the elder son of Mr. PAULSMITH of Zimbabwe. I got
your contact through SouthAfrican Trade Journal here in my search for
reliablecompany/personal account who can assist us intransferring this money
out of South Africa. During the current war against farmers in Zimbabwefrom
the support of our President Robert Mugabe toclaim all the white-owned farms
to his party Members and his followers, he ordered all white farmers to
surrender all their farms to his partymembers and his followers.My father is
one of the best farmers in our country and because he did notSupport
Mugabe’s ideas Mugabe’ssupporters invaded myfather's farms and Burnt
everything in the farm,killed my father and took everthing he hard.Beforehis
death,he had deposited with one of the SecurityCompany in Johannesburg,
South Africa the sum of(US$7,000,000,00.Milion United States Dollars).

After the death of our father,we decided to move tothe Republic of South
Africa where he had depositedthe Money in the Security Company as valuables.
It isin this regards that l,my mother and my two sistersdecided to contact
overseas firm and companies thatwill assist us to move this money out of
South Africabecause as asylum seekers we are not allowed tooperate any bank
account within South Africa. We haveagreed to offer you 30% of the total sum
for yourassistant,10%will be mapped out for any expenses thatmay be incurred
in the courtesy of this transactionand 60% will be for our family investment
in yourcountry.

All I want you to do is to furnish me with your entirepersonal and fax
numbers for easy communication. Youcan contact me on the above Telephone and
Note that this transaction is 100% risk freeand absolutely confidential.

Thanks and best Regard
(unbehalf of the family)

Anti-fraud resources: