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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: "Dr.Godwin Johnson" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 15:26:57 -0400


Dear Respected,

I am glad to communicate with you, please pardon me as we have not met
before this proposal. I am Dr. Godwin Johnson I am an accountant to Shell
Co-operative Union Savings and Loan Port Harcourt Branch. I am contacting
you based on a (Dormant Account) owned by late eng. William Rogers
previously, an assistant project engineer to shell petroleum company Port
Harcourt Branch before the tragedy that claimed his life with other two
shell engineers by the protesting villagers and militant at Eleme village
Port Harcourt in the year 2003.

I am his personal account officer in our institution. I am contacting you
because the account in which he deposited US$14.960 Million is presently
dormant for the fact that no one from his kindred is servicing the account.
This month will complete it four years and Eleven months (4/11) Late Eng.
William Rogers and his personal attorney passed away and no declaration of
next of kin to claim the fund with our institution. I have received a
notification letter from our institution today that the account will
complete four (4) years dormant by next month and will be close down since
no one is out to service the account or claim the fund. Due to this
notification, I therefore decided to contact you so that we can join head
together to secure the fund. With my position of office in Shell
Co-operative Union, approval for the fund release to you will be grant as
soon as I present you as a foreigner to receive the fund. I will declare you
the next of kin using the service of my lawyer to process the legal
documents and I can assure you that in the next 7 banking days, the fund
will be release to you. Please do not have any doubt in your mind or panic
about this transaction as it's my own duty being his account officer to
secure the fund to avoid it reverting to the benefit of our institution when
they short down the dormant account.

I urged you to give me 100% guarantee of trust. Is rest assured that you
will benefit 50% of the total sum and the remaining 50% will be for me.
Please note that we have less than one month to secure the fund out from the
dormant account. Contact me with your full name, contact address and a valid
phone number for easy communication.

I look forward hearing from you as soon as you receive this mail.


Dr. Godwin Johnson.


Anti-fraud resources: