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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: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 06:07:01 -0200

David Thorburn
Chief Operating Officer,
Clydesdale Bank.


I am David Thorburn Chief Operating Officer, Clydesdale Bank. I am getting in touch
with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar last name and an
investment placed under our banks management 10 years ago. I believe would be of
interest to you.In 2000, the subject matter; came to our bank to engage in business
discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial
portfolio of fifty million united states dollars ($50,000,000,00).i want you to stand
as the bona-fide next of kin to the desease.

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client; We share the proceeds 50%
for me, 50% for you Should you be interested i shall provide you with more details of
this transaction.

I await your response.

David Thorburn.

Anti-fraud resources: