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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: Lawson Banku <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:53:30 +0100
Subject: Re: Hello good friend

I am Attorney Lawson Banku, a solicitor to a client who died due to a brief
illness (Heart Attack)in 2014 and left a fixed deposit of $12.5 Million
Dollars in a Bank here in the Togo without leaving no next of Kin. I am
writing you to seek your consent to present you as his next of kin. What I
am proposing is 100% risk free I guarantee and you stand to make a lot of
money for yourself. This transaction bears no financial constraint on you,
now or in the future. I have all documents to back my claim and have these
funds transferred to you in less than 2 weeks and we can both split the
proceeds. Kindly get back to me in receipt of this email.

Lawson Banku (Esq.)

Kindly get back to my email (

Anti-fraud resources: