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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: "VIVIAN WASI" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:50:18 -0500

My Dearest,

How are you today? I know this mail must come to you in a surprise but I have no choice than to write to you. I just read your profile and find it facilitating that you’re someone I can trust with all my heart. I am writing to you with tears and sorrows in my heart. I am deeply crying out to you for a help that has to do with my life and future. I am Vivian Wasi, 22 years old girl from Ghana, West Africa. I am a Medical student undergraduate from university of Ghana Accra. I am the only surviving child of late Mr. & Mrs. Frank Wasi.

My father was a part-time politician and also successful cocoa merchant based in Accra, the economic capital of Ghana before he was murdered alongside with my mother and my only brother by rebels last year. Since then I have been with my uncles but they have made things to be more difficult for me because of their eyes on my late father's properties. I overheard them planning to kill me; I then have to run away from the house to an orphanage rescue home for my life where I am presently.

Before the death of my father, he has $5.5 million United States Dollars in a Fixed Deposit Domiciliary Account with a Bank here in Accra, Ghana. He used me as the inheritor of the money. I cannot withdraw the money because he signed an Agreement Letter with the Bank. That i cannot get the money under the age of 25 years unless i provide a guardian who will help me achieve my education and also invest the money wisely. Presently, my life is meaningless without completing my education.

Please I need your assistance in this various ways
1. To be my Guardian
2. To provide a bank account where the money will be transferred.
3. To make arrangement for me to come over to your country and continue with my studies in a good school.
4. To look for a good venture where this money will be invested.

I will provide all the necessary documents on your acceptance to assist me for the transfer of the money to you. I will be very glad to compensate you handsomely if you give me back my life and future.

Yours sincerely
Vivian Wasi

Anti-fraud resources: