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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: "Mr. Greg" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 05:06:41 +0200
Subject: FOR YOU


I have the honor to introduce this business to you in view that you will accept to be my partner. Obviously you might be surprised to read this letter but consider it as a request from a stranger in need of a foreign partner and I got your contact via the net.

I am Mr. Greg Themba, an Auditor contracted by ABSA bank of South Africa (ABSA). An account was opened in this bank in 1995 by one Mr. T.J Martins a foreign miner with a balance of twenty six million dollars ($26m). This account has been dormant since 15th of September 1997, which prompted investigation that lasted for six months. It was however discovered that Mr. T.J Martins died in a ghastly motor accident on the 20th of July, 1998. Unfortunately he did not leave any clue or lead that could help the bank locate any of his relative.

The bank is ready to welcome anyone who has the correct information to lay claims to the money. I have all the information in my possession and will make them available to you at the appropriate time if we agree to move forward. All that is needed from you firstly is to indicate interest in the transaction and the rest of the process will follow. Please note that as an extra security measure we have plans in place to destroy all documents and computer information pertained to this transaction once business is concluded and transfer affected.

We have unanimously agreed to give you 25% of the above amount, while we shall retain 75%. Any money spent during this process will be deducted before sharing. I want to assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free. My only worry is the safety of the money once it gets into your account. I have a senior person in the bank as an insider, though he chose to remain anonymous but will be instrumental in endorsing all approvals. We expect to conclude the business in less than 14 days.

I look forward to receiving your assistance letter in order to give you more details on the process of the transaction.


Greg Themba.

+27 78 7806637

Anti-fraud resources: