fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "sankoh john" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 13:35:55 -0700

Dear sir /madam
I am John Sankoh, the son of late chief Anthony Sankoh a native of Freetown, republic of Sierra Leone, West Africa.
My father was a close friend/business partner to the deputy minister for mining and Natural Resources [Dr Abel Majeed Haoun][Deputy to Mrs. Cecilia Bannerman] in Sierra Leone. Until his death he has been doing business secretly with the minister and at the same time representing him in all business correspondence both locally and internationally unknowingly. Before the death of my father, I being the only son, he secretly told me that he had the sum of $10million[us dollars] deposited with a private security firm in Ghana. These funds were realized from the sales of gold dust, this he transacted on behalf of the minister. The minister has no access to this funds as the funds could not be traced to him or any of his relative and he does not have the contact details of the contact of the security firm were the funds is been deposited.
After my father’s death, I did search his safe and discover all the documents, which my late father did use to deposit the money as consignment on his name on behalf of a foreign business partner unknown to me. Before his death he use to do business in Europe/America and Asia that is why i believe that my fathers partners will be in one of this country. Based on this, the minister has been running after my life asking me if I know were my father deposited the money before his death, which I deny. My fathers uncle advised me to leave the country, that is why I left for Ghana and that is were I am staying right now for security reasons.
The reason why I am contacting you is that I want to claim the funds as consignment from the security company as the beneficiary's next of kin and you as my late fathers foreign partner who will receive the consignment on my behalf in your country but the security company does not know the real content of the box because my father told them that the box contains gold and diamond and the box is sealed and look and the keys are with me. The money shall remain in your custody till my arrival in your country. it can be transferred to your account in any of this country I have mention that my father use to do business as I am still interested in doing business in your country.
Meanwhile the money can be invested into risk-free profitable ventures and there shall be an agreement to protect my interest. I have all the documents to enable you claim the consignment from the security firm.
To make this deal reliable I need a commitment from you that it will be kept confidential, your telephone and fax numbers including mobile for easy communications, your permanent address as well as some forms of identification. For your reliable assistance I will reward you with 25% of the money and we shall use 10% to carry out every expenses that will be incurred during this transaction and the investment process 65% shall be for my family.You can reach me on my private no.00233234041855 and my private email <>. I thank you in advance in anticipation for your assistance in enabling me achieves this goal. The nature of your business does not necessarily matter, please contact me if you are interested in assisting me. This will enable me scout for another partner in the event of non-interest on your part.
Best regards,
John Sankoh

Anti-fraud resources: