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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: "Barclays Bank PLC" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 07:06:56 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: FROM: Mr. John Varley

FROM: Mr. John Varley
Group Finance Director
Asset Management Division
Barclays Bank PLC.

I am Mr. John Varley Group Finance Director (Asset Management Division)
Barclays Bank PLC. I have a lucrative business forums stroke of common
interest to share with you; it involves transferring a large sum of money.
I got your reference in my quest for one that fits my proposed business

If you are interested in working with me do contact me via my private
e-mail: ( for more information, Should you
please send me your full detail for proceeding.

Your Full Names:
Phone Number:

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.


Mr. John Varley
Group Finance Director
Asset Management Division
Barclays Bank PLC.

Anti-fraud resources: