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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:

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:03:02 -0400 (EDT)

FROM:MR.JOHN C C CHANHANG SENG BANK LTD,HONG KONG.Tel/fax: +85230157022 Email: Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr. John C C Chan, Chief Executive Officer of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd and I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail. I am contacting you independently and no one is informed of this communication. If I may intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. Before the U.S and Iraqi war, our client a business man made a numbered fixed deposit of (167,211,702.56 HKD) for 18 calendar months, this is valued to Twenty One million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notices were sent to him, even during the war, years ago. Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that Hamadi Hashem
and his family had been killed during the war in bomb blast that hit their home at Mukaradeeb where his personal oil well was. After further investigation it was also discovered that he did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. So, Twenty One million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me most is that according to practice, failing to receive viable claims the deposit will most probably be reverted back into the HSBC accounting system and the portfolio will be fore-closed. What I wish to relate to you will smack of unethical practice but I want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking industry aberrational. The world of banking is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have begun by
now to put together the general direction of what I propose. There is US$ $21,500,000.00 deposited here in Hong Kong and I with the relevant processes put in place can instruct its transfer to a next-of-kin/beneficiary. The banks trustees are simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that comes forward with viable proof. This is the situation. This bank has spent great amounts of money trying to track this man’s family; we have investigated for months and have found no family. The investigation has come to an end. My proposal; I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct the release of the deposit to you as the next-of-kin/beneficiary for our mutual benefit. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have the deposit released to you and we share the proceeds. I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a few days by simply informing the bank of the final closing of the file relating to our late customer. I
am aware of the consequences of this proposal and I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. What I do, I do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones way once in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass me by because for once I find myself in total control of my destiny. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let me move on but do not destroy me. There is a reward for this project and it is success for us. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. If you give me positive signals,
I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my official email account. Contact me only through this private e-mail below: E-mail: or you call or fax me directly on Tel:+85230157022. I do not want any direct link between you and me. My official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored in line with our Total Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction religiously. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. Do not betray my confidence. Please indicate your interest by sending your full names, telephone numbers and
current residential address. I shall then provide you with more details of this operation. Note that this business would follow all the international laws of banking and all the legal documentations shall be obtained to ensure that the funds are claimed legally. Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated. Kind Regards,Mr.John C C Chan

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