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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: mathew <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:35:13 -1200

Dear Sir/Madam,


My name is Mathew Barnes. I work at the South African Department of Race
Integration/Reconciliation. This is a department set up by the South
African Government immediately after the inauguration of the government of
President Nelson Mandela in 1994. The responsibilities of this Department
include the removal of racial bias from the South African Security forces,
and the amelioration of the effects of race and gender based oppression
inherent in South Africa during the apartheid years. To carry out its
responsibilities this Department awarded many IT jobs to firms outside
South African including Companies in the United States, Great Britain and
Germany. Since racial integration has almost been achieved in South Africa,
President Zuma has decided to eliminate our department. Consequently an
audit of the accounts of the Department has been going on for the past 12
months. We have discovered during this process that some contracts
performed by foreign firms for the Department were over-invoiced. In other
words although these firms have been paid some funds still remain in the
coffers of the Department because of the initial over-invoicing. In one of
such cases we have discovered an extra Twenty Five Million, United States
Dollars (U.S$25,000,000.00). The government is not aware of these excess
floating funds.

We have formed a consortium to transfer these funds out of the country for
investment purposes, but we need the services of someone abroad to help us
with this transfer. This is my purpose of writing to you. In a nutshell we
will like you to present yourself or your company as an entity that
executed a contract for the Department to the tune of $25 million dollars.
You will apply for the payment through us. We are here to see that the
government approves the payment and transfer the funds to you.

If you agree to co-operate with us the funds will be shared in the
following ways:

1. 70% for us

2. 20% for you

3. 10% for upfront expenses

Please get back to me via email upon the receipt of this mail to enable me
instruct you on what to do next.


Mathew Barnes

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