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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: "Thomas Lesser" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2016 23:12:39 +0800
Subject: [PR] Proffer December 28, 2016


My name is Barrister Thomas Lesser. I am a legal practitioner (Lawyer).

I saw your contact and profile I decided that you could cooperate with me in this proposition. I had a foreign client, who was deceased in November, 2010. I am contacting you because I felt that you could help me in the claiming of the funds that were left in my deceased client's bank account.

This fund is closed to be declared un-serviceable by the bank as there were no indicated next of kin or next of beneficiary of the funding in the bank account so I decided to look for someone with the same last name with my late client who will claim the fund on his or her name then both of us will share it.

The total amount of cash in the bank account of my deceased client is 16.8 Million (Sixteen Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Euro). The bank had issued to me a notification to contact the next of kin of my deceased client to make claim of the fund in the bank account.

My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to present your kind self as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client.

This means that the proceeds of his bank account would be paid to you as his next of kin or the legitimate beneficiary. When the proceeds in his bank account are paid to you, we would share the proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage of 60% to me and 40% to your kind self.

All the legal documents to back up your claim as my client's next-of-kin would be provided by me. The most important thing I would need is your honest cooperation in this proposition. This would be done under a legitimate arrangement that would protect you from any breach of the law.

If this business proposition offends your moral and ethic values, do accept my sincere apology. Please contact me at once if you are interested by replying the mail and ignore it if you are not interested.

Best regards,
Barrister. Thomas Lesser, Esq.

Anti-fraud resources: