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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: Financial Ombudsman <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 01:41:32 -0500
Subject: Re: 11-01-2019

We are delighted to know you are alive and not dead, and we have set traps to arrest the impostor/criminals that bring false information that you are dead, we have submitted all the necessary documents in your favour, please quote the reference No. WBC/LU-14GN, on any of your message to Old Mutual bank PLC, London.
Inline to our financial reports, there is a “sea of unclaimed assets sloshing around the financial system” very conservatively estimated to be worth £77 billion! Assets are considered dormant when contact with the owner is lost –typically due to a name change after marriage or divorce, an unreported change of address or expired postal forwarding order, and incomplete or illegible records.
It’s important to note millions of family members remain unaware they’re entitled to collect unclaimed assets owed deceased relatives, who passed on without leaving updated financial records for their heirs. The fund originated from Lotto /inheritance and your information was filled as the next of kin. And that's why we are contacting you after the dishonest officials that planned to divert/steal the fund failed.
We are very busy now and all you need to do is to contact the paying bank via their contact information below, and they will pay the £18,500,000.00GBP  to you. The fund is already approved to you and the paying bank is waiting for your payment instructions.
Be informed, authority has authorized Old Mutual bank PLC, London to pay the above stated funds to you as part payment within five (5) banking days. Contact the management of Old Mutual Bank PLC, London, contact person, Bruce Hemphil, Chief Executive Officer, Old Mutual PLC e-mail: and direct them on how you wish to receive your fund to enable them pay your fund to you within five (5) official working days.
Yours faithfully
Graver John Michael William (ESQ)
Financial Ombudsman
Sent from we practice law

Anti-fraud resources: