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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: "Mr. James Shona" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2023 01:13:47 +0200
Subject: Re:Compliments

*Email: ( <>) *

*#142 Highlands North Balfour Park *

*Johannesburg, South Africa. *

*Tel: +**27 843 956 546.*

Attention: Sir/Madam,


I am sincerely seeking your confidence in this transaction, which I propose
as a person of integrity.

I am Mr. James Shona, a native of Western Cape in the Republic of South
Africa and a Board Member under the Department of Mineral Resources and
Energy (contract award committee and Auditing). I got your contact details
from the South Africa Exchange Information On-line Service (S.A.E.I.S) in
my search for a reputable company or individual to assist me sincerely and
confidentially, which your information and profile proved very
satisfactory, so I decided to contact you immediately.

To be our silent partner and receive the funds as the sole benefactor to
the contract amount which we shall secure all legal documentation to
authenticate our claim and put you through as the beneficiary. For your
assistance in this project, you will be entitled to 25% of the principal
amount and 5% is set aside to cover all expense(s) from both sides during
the course of the project.

The said money came from an over-invoiced contract for the refurbishment of
mines and supplies in Kruger Gold Mine sector in the year 2018 before the
world cup event by a foreign contractor, Mr. Charles Lewis (now deceased).
The contract which was valued at Seventy-Five Million United States Dollars
(US$75M) and was over invoiced to amount of One Hundred and Ten Million
United States Dollars (US$110M) The said contract was executed in the same
year 2018 and has been fully paid up leaving the over-invoice amount of the
sum of Thirty-Five Million, United States Dollars (US$35M) only. This
amount would be transferred to your designated bank account upon your
response and approval.

All modalities for the transfer of this fund have been put in place and I
am using this opportunity to assure you that the transfer process is
entirely risk free and I am trusting that you partner with me without any
bias of mind and with full trust. Please kindly reply through this email
address: *(** <>)* I am
anticipating a response from you soon as a future partner in this business.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. James Shona.


Tel: +27 843 956 546

Anti-fraud resources: