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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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Fraud email example:

From: "DR.JIM COUCOU" <> (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 12:46:25 +0100

Rue du Gouverneur Bayol
Benin Republic.
Télex : 539 ECOBNK.


Compliments of the Day Permit me to introduce myself to you. My name is DR.JIM COUCOU, A top Management Official of the above Finance Corporation in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

I came to know about you in my private search for a reliable person/company to handle an important Business on my behalf.

PROPOSITION: An Australian Engr Donald Pepper, a prosperous oil\Gold merchant had in our Bank the sum of $28.5million in a domiciliary account.
Unfortunately, he was killed in a recent ghastly motor accident in Benin Republic. Efforts had been made by the management of my bank through the Australian Embassy to contact any of the deceased children but to no avail. I later discovered that he had no children. Given the skeletal information available to the bank, it has so far been impossible to reach any of the relatives.
The situation left for the Management is to declare the deceased account dormant and revert the funds to trading for interest to the Bank. In order to avoid this development, I now seek your approval to have you stand as a distant relative to Engr Donald Pepper, so that the money would be released to you.

All documents and proofs to enable you get the money will be carefully packaged once I receive your acceptance on this proposal. I shall apply for a leave as soon as the funds get into your reliable account to come to your country for sharing and investments which you will assist me in doing. May I assure you that this is safe and risk-free, as I have taken care of all necessary modalities to ensure a hitch-free Transfer I have decided that upon the conclusion of this transaction you will be entitled to 30% of the total Funds I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.

For us to proceed please send to me your full Location Address, telephone and fax numbers to enable us discuss further about this transaction.
Best Regards,
Tel +229-05-17-26.

Anti-fraud resources: