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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: =?UTF-8?Q?=4D=72=2E=20=46=72=61=6E=6B=20=57=69=6C=6C=69=61=6D=73?= <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 14:37:34 +0300
Subject: =?UTF-8?Q?=55=52=47=45=4E=54=20=42=55=53=49=4E=45=53=53=20=41=53=53=49=53=54=41=4E=54=20=4E=45=45=44=45=44?=

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I only got your contact details from the South Africa Exchange Information
On-line Service on my personal programmed search on the internet for a
reputable company or individual to assist me sincerely & confidential which
your information & profiles were very satisfactory, so I decided to contact
you immediately.

It is my great pleasure to write you this letter.
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as a Director of
Audit and Project Implementation, I have in my possession an overdue
payment in US funds. The said funds represent certain percentage of the
total contract value executed on behalf of my Department by a foreign
contracting firm, which I the official over-invoiced to the amount of
US$30,000,000.00 (Thirty Million United States Dollars).Though the
actual contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving the
excess balance unclaimed.

Since the present elected Government is determined to pay foreign
contractors all debts owed, so as to maintain good relationship with
foreign governments and non-government agencies, we included our bills for
approvals with the Department of Finance and the South Africa Reserve Bank
(SARB). I am seeking your assistance to front as beneficiary of the
unclaimed funds, since I am not allowed to operate foreign accounts.
Details and change of beneficiary information upon application for claim to
reflect payment and approvals will be secured on behalf of you/your
Company. I have to propose that should you be willing to assist me in this
transaction your share as compensation will be (35%), I receive (60%) and
the balance of (5%) for taxation and miscellaneous expenses incurred during
the transfer process.

The business is completely safe and secure, provided you treat it with
Utmost confidentiality. It does not matter whether you/your Company does
contract projects, as a transfer of powers will be secured in favor of
you/your Company. Also, your area of specialization is not a hindrance to
the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence
in you and hope that you will not disappoint me. Your urgent response
please. Thanks for your co-operation.

Dr Frank Williams
Email address:
N.B Please email your confidential Telephone and Fax numbers to enable me
contact you for further clarifications

Anti-fraud resources: