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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: "okoyewilliams20" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 06:03:21 -0700
Subject: Letter From Williams White

Letter From Williams White
Barrister Williams White
# 22 Ling shun Shamer
South East HONGKONG.
Dear Friend,
Complements of the day.

I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred
under the cooperation of a new partner from Hong Kong. Presently, I'm in
Hong Kong for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.
Meanwhile, I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in
transferring those funds despite
that it failed us some how. Now contact my secretary,

Mr. Yahaya

Office ID:#6077 ameda bell way victorial
island lagos Nigeria
Private <>
Office:234 1 7765982

send him above informatiom

1) your full name
2) you home/company addreess
3) you telephone/fax number for a direct communication with

asking him to send you the original Copy of International Draft worth of
$1.2M USD which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and
attempts to assist me in this matter. I used your name as the Foreign
Contractor that executed the contract to get the money siphoned out of our
country treasury and I appreciated your efforts at that time very much, so
feel free and get in touched with my secretary Mr. Yahaya via his email
address as stated above, provide him with details on how to send you the
Original Copy of the International Cheque.

Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the
joy after all the sufferness at that time. In the moment, I am very busy
here because of the investment projects which I and the new partner are
having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my
secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch
with him immediately, he will send the
amount to you without any delay.

Barr Williams White

Anti-fraud resources: