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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: "John Woo" <>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 08:13:46 +1100 (VLAST)
Subject: Hello

Office of the manager auditing and accounting
Bank of China(BOC)
Guangdong Headquarters
Guangzhou.China P.R

Good day. I am Mr John Woo, Executive Manager of Bank of China. I am aware
of a dormant account in my department that belongs to one of our Indian
client that shares the same last name as yours and died as a result of a
heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to
the death of all the members of his

family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra
Indonesia. And in the record there is no known successor to this deposit
of the deceased who died without a will.

I can be reached on my private email ( ) for more
information. The former customer has a deposit of about Seventeen Million
Five hundred Thousand Dollars(US$ 17,500,000:00 ) left behind in the
dormant account waiting to be claimed. If you are honest, I can present
you to the Bank of China as the next of kin and we will

have an agreement before we proceed.

Best regards,
Mr John Woo

Anti-fraud resources: