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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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 09:18:51 -0700

Daer friend,

I am James Potts, Attorney at law here in U.K.. A deceased client of mine that from Africa bears the same last name as yours died as the result of a heart-related condition here in U.K. in March 2017.

i am contacting you in respect of my late client fund deposited in the bank, because he has no Next Of Kin, and you bear same last name with him, will like to know if you are in anyway related to him, and if not, I am asking you privately for your collaboration to retrieve this claim in all our favour.

More details will be provided upon your reply

Best regards

James Potts Esq.

Anti-fraud resources: