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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: Patrick Mensah <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:45:42 +0000
Subject: Hope to get your reply

I know that this message will come to you as a surprise since we
don't know
each other before, but for purpose of introduction, I am Mr. Patrick L
Mensah a Bank Manager of The Royal Bank Ghana. There is an account
opened in this bank in the year 2004 and since 2006 nobody has
operated on this account again. After going through some old files in
the records, I discovered that if I do not remit this money out
urgently it would be forfeited for nothing.

The owner of this account is Mr. Bill Blake a foreigner and a doctor
by profession he own one of the biggest hospital in Accra Ghana, but
he died since 2004. 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 his company does not know
anything about this account and the amount involved is (USD5.5M) Five
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars.

I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be
approved to a local bank here, but can only be approved to any foreign
account because the money is in US Dollars and the former owner of the
account is Mr. Bill Blake is a foreigner too.

I know that this message will come to you as a surprise as we don't
know ourselves before. We will sign an agreement, but be sure that it
is real and a genuine business. Please reply urgently so that I will
inform you the next step to take immediately. Send also your private
telephone and fax number including the full details as in your
resident address, age and your full name.

AS Soon as the fund gets into your account I will fly to your country
for the withdrawal of the fund and sharing and to discus other
investments plans. At the conclusion of this business, you will be
given 40% of the total amount, 60% will be for me. I look forward to
your earliest as possible. Here is my personal e-mail

Yours Faithfully, Mr.Patrick

Mensah (Bank Manager)

This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

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