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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: "mara_johnson" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 13:56:12 +0000
Subject: Dear Sir,

*Dear Sir,
With the hope that you are okay and doing fine, I am sending you this email
in confidence. It is in respect of an opportunity at the bank where l work
in London; l want us to take advantage of this opportunity. I am Johnson by
name, l am a citizen of the United Kingdom and l live in London.*

*I am on the employment of one of the known banks in London. There is this
10,762,000.00 GB£ (Ten Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty-two Thousand British
Pounds) in a secret account belonging to a dead African President from one
of the West African countries. This account has been in a dormant state for
over eight years. I was the account officer of the said President before
his death; this makes it easy for me to mastermind a good plan that will
enable me pay this money to you as a contract payment if you agree to
execute this deal with me. *

*When the President was still alive, our bank was one of his source of
foreign contract payments for contracts executed by foreign contractors in
his country. If you are capable of handling the amount of money mentioned
above and you are willing to go into this deal with me, l will disclose to
you a perfect plan that will enable me legally transfer the said money to
you as a contract payment without any problem. After the successful
transfer of the money to you, l shall destroy all documents relating to the
transfer so as to leave no trace.*

*On our successful execution of the deal, you shall get 35% of the money as
your share, 60% goes to me, while the remaining 5% is set aside to reimburse
each of us of incurred expenses during the transaction.
I have a time frame for the execution of this deal, if you are interested
deal, please call respond in earliest.
My regards,

Anti-fraud resources: