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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: "Engineer Paul Masanja" <>
Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2016 17:38:43 +0200
Subject: The Ministry of Energy and Minerals


The Ministry of Energy and Minerals
754/33 Samora Avenue
P.O.Box 2000
Dar es Salaam

Attention: CEO / Director,

This is to bring to your attention of our meeting yesterday during which I=
was empowered to =

contact you by my colleagues, I am the Commissioner of Energy and Minerals=
, I am sorry if =

this letter come to you as an embarrassment but be rest assured that it wa=
s with trust that =

your particulars of contact reached me and I beg you to treat it with stri=
ct confidentiality =

for the sake of this transaction between us.

In the year 2010 the ministry of energy and minerals awarded a contract th=
e project has been =

completed in the year 2014. And much of short term loan and related debts =
paid off and with =

my position as the commissioner in the said department with collaboration =
of my colleague we =

have been able to reschedule for part of the payment already paid. We took=
advantage of some =

irregularities in the corporations account records and this amount was eas=
ily reflected in =

the corporations update statement of account as outstanding debt owed.

I and on behalf of my colleagues wish to transfer this amount into your co=
mpany/personal =

account without any disappointment from you. We have agreed to give you Th=
irty Percent shared =

as the account owner Sixty Percent among us here in Tanzania Ten Percent i=
s set aside for =

expenses that may incurred during procure of documentation and the transfe=
r of the funds into =

your account.

Finally, may you be notified about our meeting in a neutral ground of any =
African country to =

have a face to face discussion.

Yours Faithfully,

Engineer Paul Masanja

Anti-fraud resources: