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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. David Elson" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 01:45:58 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Get Back To Me


I am Mr. David Elson. I am a Banker. A deceased Customer of mine Late Mr
George Waldron . Some time back, there was a case submitted to us by the
Spanish Police and Traffic Department. An accident happened which involved
The above Customer and he died weeks later in the hospital due to some

However,some documents were in his possession All necessary certificates
and documents that cover the deposit of One Hundred And Eighty Nine
Million British Sterling Pounds(189 million British Pounds).which were
verified. My deceased client had know wife,kids and have never introduced
any person as his relative.

I was his account officer and I handled all his finances deposit. He left
no will. He was aged 61years.

This is an urgent issue because your response and cooperation will
facilitate the release of the funds left behind by my client before it is
confiscated or declared unserviceable by our bank where this deposit
valued at One Hundred And Eighty Nine Million British Sterling Pounds(189
million British Pounds) is lodged for the past 9 years since the death of
my client. The Bank recently issued me a notice to provide the next of kin
or they will have his Account confiscated within the next twenty one
official working days.

My proposition to you is to seek your consent and approval as the Heir and
beneficiary of my late client, so that the proceeds of this account can be
paid to you. All legal documents to back up your claim as my client's Heir
will be provided. All I require is your approval and your honest
cooperation.And we will successfully carry out this transaction without
any risk involved.

Attached also is a photo of Mr George while in hospital with a Police
Personal before he died.

I look forward to your quick reply.

Best regards,
Mr. David Elson.

Anti-fraud resources: