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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: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:06:56 +0000

Dear Mrs Marie Halberstadt, Compliment of the day. Excuse my intrusion into your private life without your prior permission.I hope my mail will not cause you much embarrassment as I write to you in good faith. I am Barrister John Seamus,a solicitor at law,personal attorney to (Late) Mr.Ron Halberstadt,who worked with Shell Development Company in lome-Togo for more than twenty years. On the 1st of June 2009, he and his wife and only daughter were involved in an automobile accident while visiting a neighboring country on vacation. They were buried two weeks after and I have exhausted all means of reaching who may have been related to them. This has been made more difficult because no mention was made of any relative while he was alive. After these several unsuccessful attempts to locate their family ,I decided to contact you since my client died without testified any (WILL) which is the next of kin of this fund to come forward and apply for this claim. You will permite me as the attorney who take proper list documentry care of this estate, to fill your name in my file as next of kin and beneficiary of this fund deposited ,hence my late client was not signed any name in my file jacket as the inheritor of this will. In order to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$ 5.5 Million left behind by my client before it get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Finance Company where this huge amount was deposited. The said Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty one official working days.Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over (1 Year ) now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since i will fill in your name in my file jacket as the next of kin of this estate, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this deal will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Thanks for your prompt response. Very truly yours, Barrister John Seamus,Esq.Tel :+228 9155 8030,Tel :+ 228 9928-6649.SEAMUS CHAMBERS & PARTNERS. LLC(CORPORATE OFFICE).ADDRESS: KM 220 AIRPORT ROAD,LOME-TOGO WEST AFRICA
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