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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: Margaret Smith <>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2021 05:35:19 +0000

TELEPHONE: +27-789-952-290,

Good day,

Compliments of the day. I must solicit your confidentiality and assure you that I am contacting you in good faith as this proposal will be of mutual benefit to both of us. I am Mr. Paul Alexander, a legal practitioner herein the Republic of South Africa and personal attorney to late Mr. Rube, a native of your country, a gold merchant, and major contractor to ANGLO AMERICA MINING COMPANY in the REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. My service covers individuals, corporate bodies, and institutions. I also represent the government departments as an external solicitor.

On 23rd March 2020, my client sadly passed away from the deadly corona virus disease. Since then, several inquiries to your embassy here in the Republic of South Africa to locate any of my clients extended relatives since he did not leave behind any next of kin, has proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to seek someone who may or may not have the same last name as my client, hence I contacted you. Before his death, I assisted him in the deposit of Thirty Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars [USD$39,500,000.00] with a security company for safekeeping, to avoid huge bank charges for the purchase of mining equipment. The fund is unclaimed since his death, and such unclaimed funds will be appropriated and returned to the country’s treasury as a matter of policy. Considering the lack of success in my bid to locate any of his relatives, I hereby solicit your consent to enable me present you as the next of kin to my deceased client.

I am contacting you for two reasons. Firstly, you both have the same last name, which makes the claim most credible. Secondly, I strongly believe that the security company does not deserve to inherit the funds. These reasons led to my resolve to claim the fund, which was why I contacted you. With your permission, I will proceed to establish you as the next of kin/beneficiary to my late client. As soon as this is done, you will then give instructions to the security company, to transfer the deposited funds into an account you will provide, after which we shall then share the funds upon agreed terms. When I receive your response, I will provide you with further details. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and me from any breach of the law. You are sincerely required to contact me urgently if you are in a position to honestly co-operate with me in this regard, please reply to this email:, or telephone number: +27-789-952-290,.I await your reply,


Paul Alexander (Esq.)
Copyright©2021 Alexander & Alexander Chambers

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