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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: "Mrs. Joy Hoffman" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 11:15:51 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend

Dear Friend
Greetings in the name of God Pls let this not sound strange to you
for my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this
year. I prayed and got your email id from your countries Christian
guestbook which i have been with my late husband and liked to visit
once more if God will in his infinite mercies.
I am Mrs. Joy Hoffman from Kuwait, I am 68 years old, I am deaf and
suffering from a long time cancer of the breast which also affected my
brain, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and
it is quite obvious that, according to my doctors they have advised me
that I may not live for the next two months, this is because the
cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I was brought up from a
motherless babies home was married to my late husband for twenty years
without a child, my husband died in a fatal motor accident Before his
death we were true Christians.
Since his death I decided not to re-marry, I sold all my inherited
and deposited all the sum of US$5.6Million dollars with a
Security Firm. Presently, this money is still with them and the
management just wrote me as the true owner to come forward to receive
the money for keeping it so long or rather issue a letter of
authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not
come over because of my illness or they get it confisticated.
Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital here in Mauella Hospital
Germany where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the
lungs. My doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live.
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested to any
organization of your choice and distributed each year among the
charity organization, the poor and the motherless babies' home.
I want you as God fearing person, to also use this money to fund
churches, orphanages and widows, I took this decision, before i rest
in peace because my time will so on be up.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall
give you the contact of the
Security Firm. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will
prove you as the new beneficiary of my fund. Please assure me that you
will act accordingly as I stated herein.
Please reply me through this my private email address: [1]
hoping to hear from you soon.
Waiting for your reply
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Joy Hoffman


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