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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. Joe William" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 23:45:59 +0800
Subject: Business Deal


I wish to inform you that this letter is not a hoax mail and I urge you to
treat it serious. I am Mr Joe William, Chief Executive Officer working in
one of the banks here in London. During the course of our auditing last
week, I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in 2000
and since 2004 nobody has operated on this account again, after going
through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the
account died without a [Heir/WILL] hence the money is floating and if I do
not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing.

The owner of this account is an American and a great industrialist and a
resident of Alaska State, who unfortunately lost his life in the plane,
crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 which crashed on January 31 2003,
including his wife and only daughter leaving nobody to claim the money. No
other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the
account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well
that the account is a secret account. The total amount involved is Thirty
million United States Dollars only [$30,000.000.00] and we wish to transfer
this money into a safe foreigners account abroad. But I don't know any
foreigner; I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money
cannot be approved to a local person here, but to a foreigner who has
information about the account, which I shall give to you upon your positive

I am revealing this to you with believe in God that you will never let me
down in this business, you are the first and the only person that I am
contacting for this business, so I am constrained to issue more details
about this business until your response is received.

Thank you for your time and attention.
Mr Joe William.
Chief Executive Officer.

Anti-fraud resources: