fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Melanie Whitley" <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 13:00:00 +0200
Subject: Request for Confidential Business Relationship

From: Melanie Whitley

Request for Confidential Business Relationship

I know that this will come to you as a surprise since we do not know each other before. For the purpose of introduction, I was a silent business partner to The Former Presidency Director-General, in South Africa. After due deliberation , I decided to contact you for your assistance in standing as benefactor to the sum of US$46.5Million (Forty Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) equivalent because, I and two other colleagues are currently in need of a silent foreign partner whose identity we can use to transfer the said sum. This fund accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts we executed with Department of Mining & Energy through our private connections.

The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from Johannesburg here in South Africa to any overseas beneficiary confirmed by me as associate/receiver. By virtue of my political/religious position in my country, I cannot acquire this money with my name. For this reason I took it upon myself to look for an overseas silent partner who could work with me to facilitate transfer of this fund for our mutual benefit, hence the reason for this email. What I am requesting from you is:

(1) to be my silent partner and receive the funds as the sole benefactor to the contract amount which I shall secure all legal documentation here in South Africa to authenticate our claim. (2) Provide a private telephone number for easy communication under your control.

(3)Receive the funds as the beneficiary, take out your commission after tax and keep the rest of the money until I arrive there to meet you after the transfer is completed.

My proposal is that after you receive the funds, it would be shared as follows: (1) 20% to you as commission for your co-operation and assistance in facilitating the transfer to any of your nominated account, while the remaining 80% belongs to me . You will be free to take out your commission immediately after the money hits your country. Since my objective is to invest the money in a foreign country, it would be appreciated if you could also help me with advicesand direction on investing into profitable/lucrative ventures in your country for an additional 5%.

However, this is optional, and if it is not convenient for you to further assist us with investing the money, we can end our cooperation after you make available to us our part of the money.

The transaction, although discrete, is legitimate and the money will be transferred successfully with all necessary back-up official documents showing legitimate source/origin of fund. The transfer will be affected within a period not longer than two weeks as soon as we reach an agreement and you furnish me with a suitable response indicating your interest for processing the transfer. I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do not expose this information to anyone else. I confirm that the transaction is legitimate and without any risks either to us or yourself. Please, give me your response immediately by return mail through my alternate email:

Yours Truly,

Melanie Whitley

Anti-fraud resources: