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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:

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 22:14:52 -0700

Good day,

My name is Simon Ridley of Standard Bank,London branch, United Kingdom. I am
contacting you in respect to a particular fund that was with our private
bank whose original depositor died in mid 2005, In line with our internal
processes for account holders who have passed away ($10 Million deposit) we
instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have
right to claim the funds. This investigation has for the past years been
fruitless. We have scanned every continent and used our private
investigation affiliate companies to get to the root of the problem to no

The bank will by the end of its financial year in 2008 broadcast a request
for statements of claims, failing to receive viable claims they will revert
the deposit back to Standard Bank accounting system. If you are familiar
with private banking affair you will agree with me that the world of private
banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain
offices and oversee certain portfolios. As a matter of fact, my present
official capacity as the Head of private banking sector dictates that I am
the only party to supervise the investigation in relation to the deposit and
the beneficiary of the deposit.

My proposal: I am prepared to norminate you as the next of kin and have them
release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50.There is a reward
for this project and it is a task worth undertaking. I have evaluated the
risk and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me. If
you find yourself able to work with me, contact me. If you give me positive
signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform
you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing
you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me
through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my
official email account. Contact me only through the numbers I will provide
for you and also through this email address. I do not want any direct link
between you and myself.

My official lines are not secured lines as they are periodically monitored
to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality
Management Policy.

I await your response.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Simon Ridley

Anti-fraud resources: