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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: "Mark Rawson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 05:32:48 +0200

Good day,

I am a Canadian and currently working with HaliFax Financial Bank in Cape Town, South Africa as secretary to the head of Operations and International Transfers. On December 1st 2011 while going through the files of our foreign customers, we noticed that one of our customer's account has been dormant for years, and when we tried to contact the customer we were told that he died with the entire family in a plane crash that happened in Libya on May 12,2010. He stated his wife as next of kin but unfortunately she died also in the crash along with the husband and 3 children.

ON Friday last week during meeting it was said that if nobody comes up as next of kin, that the money $25,500,000 USD(Twenty Five million five hundred thousand United State dollars) will be reverted to the national treasury. After the meeting, my boss ought my attention and asked me to look for a good man/woman who will stand as next of kin or beneficiary to the late German customer to avoid the money being sent to the national treasury which will be beneficial to the Government alone. I have worked hard here and I have longed for a good retirement for me and my family.

I decided to contact you to present you as the NEXT OF KIN or BENEFICIARY to (MR VAN HUSSEN) to enable you receive the money on our behalf. When you receive the money I will come over to your Country for the sharing as follows:30% for me ,30%o for you, and 40% for my boss.

Be informed that all documents needed to make this transaction successful are in my possession.

All i need from you is to indicate your interest to be the NEXT OF KIN to (MR VAN HUSSEN) and I will present it to the bank. This is 100% legitimate because I will introduce you to an attorney who will help facilitate the transaction. PLEASE KEEP THIS BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL TO AVOID COMPLICATION which may mar our plans.

I await your positive response. Remember to keep it confidential!!!

Please reply me via my private email: ( confidential reasons.

Yours Faithfully

Mark C Rawson.

Anti-fraud resources: