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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: "FRANK SANTOS" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 10:46:26 -0700


My name is Frank Santos, formerly working with SNS Bank Netherlands
Branch, presently am working with HSBC Bank here in United Kingdom.

I have a proposal to discuss with you about a certain abandoned bonded
bank account in our Bank. The bonded Account has a balance of
17.3 Million dollars.

The owner of the above said bank account had died since 4 years now
and our bank could not locate any member of the deceased family till

Our bank is in the process of declaring the money "Unclaimed

and would turn it over to the UK Government in the next coming
week if we could not locate any family member of the Account Owner.
I do not want this to happen when I have serious financial needs,

I am in a position to push out the fund from our bank without any
problem provided I can present a claimant that shares the same surname
with the original account owner.

It will be beneficial to all parties concerned if you agree to present
yourself as the relative of the account owner since you shares the
same Family name with the Bonded Account Owner.

Consider this proposal as a privilege and let me know how much of the
money you would like to take after paying it to you as the Inheritor
of the abandoned fund.

If you would like to collaborate with me, then send me your
full names...........,
address ...............
telephone number .................
A copy of your Driver license..................

to enable me to formally
present you to our Bank's Management as the Next-of-Kin and legal
Beneficiary of the above abandoned fund,

Yours truly

Frank Santos

Anti-fraud resources: