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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: Ryan Anderson <>
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 11:03:42 +0100
Subject: Please Confirm Receipt


Name: Mr Ryan Anderson

Good Day,

I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise, please accept
the content
in good faith. I do not intend to cause any grief to you and your family. The
reason for sending this mail is very fundamental to the doctrine of human
privileges and right. My name is Mr Ryan Anderson an account Auditor and the
personal Account officer to the deceased,who died along with his wife and two
sons in the Tube explosion between King's Cross-and Russell Square in London.

My client was a successful and is an accomplished family man, who made enough
fortune before his untimely death. Since then I had made several Inquiries
through your Embassy to locate any of my clients extended relative but this
exercise has proved unsuccessful. After several unsuccessful attempts,
I decided
to trace his relatives through the Internet, to locate any member of
his family,
not much progress was recorded. My late client was an influential wealthy
businessman, and a consultant with the London Institute of Minning and
Metallurgy here in London and he left behind a deposit of Twelve Million Two
Hundred Thousand United State Dollar only (12.2Million USD).

After the death of my client the senior officials of my bank contacted me, as
his account officer to provide his next of kin who should inherit his funds.

The board of directors of my bank adopted a resolution and I was mandated to
provide his next of kin for the payment of this money within 28
Working days or
forfeit the money to the bank as an abandoned property. My superior here in my
bank had planned to invoke the abandoned property decree of 1996 to confiscate
the funds after the expiration of the period given to me.

Fortunately, I came across your name, to my greatest astonishment, I
that you bear the same surname with my late client and coincidentally, you are
nationals of the same country. Being convinced that you may be related with my
late client or that you might provide clue to my search, I therefore,
decided to
contact with these facts before me, because of the similarities. By
virtue of my
closeness to the deceased and his immediate family, I am very much aware of my
client financial standing and the bank account he operates.

I have reasoned very professionally and I feel it will be legally proper to
present you as the next of kin of my deceased client, so that you can be paid
the funds left in his bank account. I therefore seek your consent to
present you
as the Next of Kin to the Deceased since you are at an advantage, bearing the
same surname and equally from the same country that the proceeds of this Bank
Account valued at (12.2Million USD) can be paid to you. We shall both
share the
funds. 55% for me and 40% to you, while 5% should be for Expenses or your
Government may require as Tax.

I shall assemble all the necessary Legal Documents that will be used
to back up
your claim. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this
deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. Please get in touch
with me by email to enable us discuss further. For privacy and confidentiality
reply use my email:

I will be expecting to hear from you.

Mr Ryan Anderson...

Anti-fraud resources: