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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: Ben William <>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 14:20:41 +0200
Subject: urgent company Investment Assistance

Prime Bank Ltd.
Prime Bank Building, P.O.Box 43825
Nairobi, Kenya.

Date: 2/05/2016.

Attention Sir,

I am Mr. Benson William Thomas, and I work with one of the TOP prime
Bank in their Offshore Department here in Kenya. I discovered a
dormant domiciliary account with a Balance of (One Hundred and Thirty
Two Million British Pounds sterling). I also discovered that the
account holder has long since passed away (dead without any will)
leaving no beneficiary to the account. The bank will approve this
money to any foreigner A/c. because the former operator of the a/c is
a foreigner and from Korea, in particular and I am certainly sure that
he is dead, and nobody will come again for the claim of this money. A
foreigner can only claim this money with legal claims to the account
Holder; therefore I need your cooperation in this transaction.

I will provide the necessary information in order to claim this money,
but you will need to open an account where this can be transferred. If
you are interested send your private phone and fax no; including the
details of the account to be used for the deposit I want for maximum
confidentiality in handling of this transaction, as my work and my
family future would not be in danger if it violated.

While steps have been made on this issue confidentially with the key
personnel’s of the Bank? And they have agreed to help if I found
honest and capable person to handle this transaction so we can
transfer the assets value out of Kenya.

I want to assure you that the operation is without risk, if due
process is followed as a result. Finally, I will give you 35% for your

I look forward to a favorable response from you. Contact thought
e-mail address { }

Yours, Faithfully

Mr. Benson William Thomas.

Anti-fraud resources: