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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: Gareth Botha <>
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2021 15:03:45 +0200

Dear friend

My Name is Mr. Gareth Botha; the Bill and Exchange (assistant) Manager in
HSBC Bank PLC- Johannesburg Branch-South Africa. I need your partnership in
a funds transfer process involving an unclaimed deposit. All efforts to
trace any living relative of the deceased customer did not yield any
positive result. I can use my office to present you as next of kin to the
deceased and have the funds transferred for our mutual benefit. There are
no risks whatsoever attached. I will personally oversee the process of the
transfer of funds from the bank to your account.

Get back to me immediately for more details. Please reply to my private
email (

Best Regards,
Mr. Gareth Botha

Anti-fraud resources: