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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: John Mensah <>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2016 18:40:48 -1200
Subject: Dear friend.

Dear friend.

My, name is Mr. John Mensah. i work with one of the leading Banks here in
London, UK. I would need your consent to present you as the next of kin to
our late customer who died of heart attack in 2009. He was a wealthy
business man who deposited a huge amount in our Bank. He died without any
registered next of kin as he was long divorced and had no child.

I was his account officer and have in my possession all the documents
required to present you as his beneficiary next of kin. I contacted you
because you have same name identity with our late client and can perfectly
fit in as next of kin, We can work together to claim this fund. Please
listen, this is real and goes on in Banks all over the world without people
knowing. Let us utilize this opportunity because it does not come always. A
lot of customers open private accounts with different Banks without the
knowledge of their families and when they die, such money will be lost to
the Bank unless someone comes to claim it. This is how a lot of Bank
Directors make so much money silently.

On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest, I will
furnish you with more details. Please endeavor to provide me with the
following so that we can discuss in details

1)mobile phone numbers
2)full name
3)contact address and occupation

I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible,

Yours Sincerely,

Mr. John Mensah.

Anti-fraud resources: