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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: "Richard Zanki" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 12:50:06 +0000
Subject: Establishment

Dear Sir,

This message might come to you in utmost surprise however I contacted on the
urgent need for a foreigner whom to partner and collaborate with to achieve
this noble objective for our mutual benefits. I am a banker by profession a
native of South Africa and currently an external Auditor with a prime bank
here in Johannesburg South Africa as well as personal banker to the
deceased. I contacted by email for confidential reason though the Internet
has been grossly abused by faceless people around the world but it still
remains the safest and fastest means of communication.

In course of my duty I discovered that ENGR.HAROLD WHISNEY until his death
industrialist and a foreigner, hence the deceased have a floating account
opened in the bank in 2001 with our institution here in SA and before his
death he has no WILL or Heir and no other person knows about this fund
because after his death his company was liquidated by the management and
from investigations his parents were reported dead.

I have the opportunity to transfer the amount of US$8.2 million from the
deceased account who died in an auto crash which took place in South Africa
on 21st July, 2002.Since I have all the necessary information to establish
you as the beneficiary of the deceased fund for onward transfer of the fund
to any of your nominated account for sharing and possible investment in your

Hence, I am soliciting your assistance to bring this project to a logical
conclusion and you will be rewarded with 35% of the total sum while I take
60% and 5% is mapped out for contigencies. I will flourish you with the
more details on the transaction as soon as you indicate your interest. I
look forward to your response.


Richard Zanki

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Anti-fraud resources: