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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: =?utf-8?q?Mr=20Greg=20Mcarthy?= <>
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 00:38:12 +0530 (IST)
Subject: From Mr Greg Mcarthy,

I have a new email address!You can now email me at:

- From Mr Greg Mcarthy, Estate Trust Bank Kerewan-Branch Gambia. Dear Friend, It will be a surprise for you to receive this mail. I am Mr. Greg Mcarthy the Director of the Account & Auditing Dept. of Estate Trust Bank (Etbank) . With due respect, I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be beneficial to both of us. At the bank's last account/auditing evaluations, I came across an old account which was being maintained by a foreign customer who we learnt died on a sudden motor accident along Togo -Gambia expressroad on his way back to Gambia with his entire family (his wife and his only child) on the 6th Nov. 2003. Since the deceased was unable to opearte this account since his death ( almost 4 years now) this account has remained dormant without the knowledge of his family and no member of his family has applied for this fund because he did not name his next of kin while depositing the fund. It was put in a safe deposit account in the bank for future investment by "deceased" our customer . Since our client is a foreign national and did not name any next of kin here to file claims over the money,I with a few personnel in my dept, have decided to seek ways through which to transfer this money out of the bank to a foreign country . The total amount in the accounts is Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars ($12,5Million). With our positions as staff of the bank, we are handicapped because we cannot operate foreign accounts or transfer this fund without the asistance of a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to the deceased. While contemplating on whom to use as next of kin to the deceased, I came across your email contact in the internet directory and I decided to ask you for help to transfer this money out of my country to a foreign country. Since the deceased is a foreign national , you will only be asked to act as his next of kin or business partner. I will supply you with all necessary informations and bank data to assist you transfer this money to any bank of your choice . I have decided to give away 35% to you for your assistance,65% is for us the officials and ten (10%) for any expenses that might arise during this transaction . All documents and proof that will enable you claim this fund successfully will be fowarded to you upon your response with the following: 1.) Your full names and address. 2.) Your age and occupation I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law BUT please keep this transaction a top secret Your urgent/honest responce will highly be appreciated. My Tel.No. is 234-805-043-3166. Best Regards, Mr. Greg Mcarthy Pls.reply to this E-mail

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