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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: "Gareth Catherine Bull" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 23:38:45 -0700

Hello Michael Blythe,
My wife and I are very happy to hear from you because we believe this is a life time opportunity for you and your family, and we hope that you use this money wisely and judiciously. We had to make sure our interview was on the internet for the world to see and to definitely prove to you that you are in the right hands. We plan to take care of the needs of our immediate family members and make you a millionaire because we believe in making others comfortable and happy like us.
We were very excited when we knew about our winnings, we hope we can also bring such happiness and excitement to you and your family and also hope you help the poor in your area and contribute also to the charity.
We find it really amazing receiving appreciation gift and emails, a couple of days ago, we got an email from one of the beneficiaries who lives in Cyprus, Mr. Kostas, thanking my wife and I for the cash donation to him and his family. This kind of emails we receive from our beneficiaries gives my wife and I much joy and we are really happy for you, being one of our beneficiaries. Mr.Kostas told us that he received his own funds, though he was a little bit skeptical, but he made up his mind, he trusted us and he followed the bank's instructions, which facilitated  the safe transfer of the funds which we donated to him and his family.
I have submitted your Name, Email Address to our pay-out bank(Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd)and the bank's funds transfer department will send you an email to facilitate the disbursement process of the funds 1,000,000.00 GBP(One Million Pounds) which was donated to you.
My wife and I humbly urge you to cooperate with our payout bank, United Bank London, United Kingdom in other to enhance a smooth and successful transfer of the funds which we donated to you because you are one of our beneficiary who has not yet received his donation money.
Please note that, I and my wife will be going on holiday and will only be able to access our e-mail when we come back, but we have given the full mandate to the bank to transfer your funds to you immediately.
We are very happy and proud to help you and your family and we also suggest that you may also get in touch with the bank by e-mail with the information below for confirmation:
United Bank London, United Kingdom
2 Brook Street London
Telephone: Tel:+44 783 914 0561
Fax Number :+448458741391
Email :
Email :
Zeeshan Haider
Head of Treasury & Investments
We love you and your family.
Kind Regards,
Gareth Bull.

Anti-fraud resources: