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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: "Barr. William Ekwueme James" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:28:23 +0100

Firstly, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, this is by
virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I
know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and
worried, I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.

Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. Though it may
surprise you receiving this letter from me, since there was no previous
correspondence between us. My name is William Ekwueme James. Esq. a
personal Attorney to Late Mr. Emmanuel William. My purpose of contacting
you is for you to help secure the funds left behind by my late client, to
avoid it being confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank Where this
fund valued (Thirty Five Million United States Dollars Only) deposited by
my client before his death.

This Bank has issued me a notice to contact the next of kin or the account
will be declared unserviceable and the fund diverted to the Bank treasury,
so far all my efforts to get a hold of someone related to this man has
proved abortive. Hence, I have contacted you. I am actually asking for your
consent to present you to the Bank as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of my
late client's fund, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to
your account.

All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client's Next of
Kin I shall provide them. All I require is your honest cooperation to
enable us achieve this transaction.

I wish to point out that I want 10% of this money to be shared among the
charity organizations, while the remaining 90% is shared equally between
us. This proposition is entirely risk free. I will use my position as the
client’s attorney to guarantee the successful execution of this
transaction. If you are interested, please contact me via with this line
+22967635194 or Email: ( upon your
response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents
that will help you understand this transaction well.

The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any infraction of the law. However, if this
business proposition offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere
apology. If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly
get back to me with your interest for further explanation.

Kindest regards
Barr. William Ekwueme James
Tel: +22967635194

Anti-fraud resources: