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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: Thompson Wilson <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2023 13:45:47 +0000
Subject: Dear Beneficiary

Mrs. Vanida Suwan
National Security Bank
#76A, St. 976, Sangkat Chak Tomouk, Khan Daun Penh,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I am writing to inform you that you have been selected as the beneficiary of the late Mr. Allen Arbi Vardanyan, who tragically passed away in a car accident in Thailand. It is with great sorrow that I must inform you that he has bequeathed an inheritance of $5,500,000 to be granted to you.

We kindly ask that you contact his lawyer for further assistance in claiming your bequeathed funds. His lawyer will provide you with all the necessary information and help that you need to obtain your funds.

We understand that this may come as a surprise and we apologize for any inconvenience or distress this may cause. We hope that we can assist you in any way possible.

Sincerely yours,

V. Suwan

Vanida Suwan, Contact Email:
Branch Marketing Manager

Anti-fraud resources: