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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:

Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 03:38:55 -0800
Subject: (TRANSFER OF us$20.5 M) Reply urgent

From: Mr. Williams zuma
Tel: +27-73-786-8904

(TRANSFER OF us$20.5 M)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am WILLIAMS ZUMA, I was a financial consultant to Mr J.B
Nettles, a national Of your country, who used to work as a
contractor in South Africa. Referred to as my client. On
the 30th of April 2001, my client, and their only daughter
were involved in a car accident along Pretoria road in
South Africa.

All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their
lives. Since then I have made several enquiry?s here
to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has
also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to
search through with his name which motivated me to contact
you, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted
you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the
fund valued at US$20.5 Million (Twenty million, Five
Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) left behind by my
client Before it gets confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm (Bank) where
this huge amount were deposited. The said Security Finance
Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of
kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty
one official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives
for over 2 years now, I seek the consent to
present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you
have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this
account can be paid to you. Therefore, on receipt of your
positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio
and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary
information and legal documents needed to back you up for

All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable
us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will
be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect
you from any breach of the law.

Please get in touch with me through the above emails or
Telephone /fax numbers for more details.

Best regards.


Anti-fraud resources: