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: "Jacob Benson" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 17:23:26 +0200
Subject: From the Benson's family.

Dear Sir/Madam,

With due respect, trust and humility, I write this letter to you seeking
your help and assistance. Though its difficult since we have not met before,
I got your good contact from the network online while browsing through
website of business opportunities in your country. I believe that you are
capable and reliable in handling this urgent international transaction.

I am Mr. Jacob Benson, Son of the late comrade James Benson, the
Zimbabwean former Minister for Youth & Gender Equality who was also a
businessman and politician. My father was the famous politician who stood
firm against President Mugabe's idea of continuous fight in Democratic
Republic of Congo and the seizure of white owned farms and the distribution
of it to the blacks without compensation to the white owners. My father's
views lead to his death by a planned motor accident from dissident soldiers
suspected to have the backing of the Government and President Mugabe

While taking treatment as result of the accident before he died,he called me
and my mother, Gloria Benson, and showed us a written document concerning a
$20 Million funds he deposited with one financial institution in the Ecowas
Region where he was a close allay.

My father instructed me to take my mother and my two sisters Valerie &
Angela to leave Zimbabwe immediately for our safety, which we have
successfully done and now we are in Republic of Benin were the money is
deposited. By the immigration law of Benin Republic asylum seekers/
refugees like us do not operate any bank account. I decided to write you
seeking your help for this money to be transferred into your private bank

As for your reward for your expected assistance we have resolved to go into
partnership with you as soon as the money is transferred to your nominated
account or bank overseas and you will also take 20% of the total amount, 5%
will be used to offset any expenses that might be incurred in the course of
this transaction, while the remaining 75% will be kept for my family and for
the investment with you.

Bear it in mind that our lives solely depend on this lifetime fortune that
will be transferred into your account, and I do hope that the money will be
safe when transferred in your account. And please keep this transaction very
confidential and to yourself alone to avoid complication until we conclude.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. Please reply me here:

Kindest regards,

Jacob Benson.
For the family.

Anti-fraud resources: