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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:

Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2019 05:37:16 -0800
Subject: Best regards!

*Best regards!This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give
me the permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you
about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail without
your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if
it is the will of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will
bless and reward you abundantly. I need an honest and trust worthy person
like you to entrust this huge transfer project unto.My name is Mr John
thomaskofi, The Branch Manager of a Financial Institution. I got your
contact through a reliable source called database through Ghana chamber of
commerce. I am a Ghanaian married with 3 kids. I am writing to solicit your
assistance in the transfer of US$12,500,000.00 Dollars. This fund is the
excess of what my branch in which I am the manager made as profit this year
(i.e. 2018 financial year). I have already submitted an annual report for
half year to my head office in Accra-Ghana as I have watched with keen
interest as they will never know of this excess. I have since, placed this
amount on an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (Anonymous) to
avoid trace.As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to
this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive
this money into your bank account on my behalf. I agree that 40% of this
money will be for you as a foreign partner, in respect to the provision of
a foreign account, and 60% would be for me. I do need to stress that there
are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank
transfer OR E-online transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the
original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to your
account.If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to
me. This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go
into partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So
please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me
back for a brief discussion on how to proceed.Best regards,Mr John thomas

Anti-fraud resources: