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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: "BARRISTER JIM SAN DUKE" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 10:45:45 -0700
Subject: Hello Daer,

Hello Daer,

I am Barrister DUKE SAN. a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to Mr. Martin . Hudson a national of USA. who used to work with Shell-development Company in Lome Togo.

Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 21st of April 2003, my client, his wife were involved in a car accident along sagamu express road Lome Togo.

All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this huge deposit were lodged.

Particularly, the finance company where the deceased had an account valued at about US$32,500,000.00 has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the Next Ten Official Working Days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over nearly 10years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since you are a Foreigner, so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$32,500,000.00 can be paid to you and then you and me can share the money.I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim we may make.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through.I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.

Please get in touch with me by my email and send to me your telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further about this transaction.

Hope to hear from you in receipt of this mail:

Thank you.
Best Regards,

Anti-fraud resources: