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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: "Mr. Paul Ralph" <>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 01:09:23 +0800 (CST)
Subject: you are still the beneficiary

Good Day,

How are you doing today? I hope all is well with you’ if so glory be to God almighty.

I want to know why you did not reply to me on the proceedings of the transaction, the bank has been waiting for you to follow up so that the fund can leave the bank as soon as possible’ but I don’t know why you did not want to go on.

I want you to know that you are still the beneficiary, I will like you to tell me if you are still interest so I will know what to tell the bank.

The bank laid their hope on you; Pls. your urgent response is needed.



Paul Ralph,
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
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Anti-fraud resources: