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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. Kamal Usman" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:39:24 +0000
Subject: Please Do Respond Immediately.

Mr. Kamal Usman,
No. 20 Ave. Kwame Nkrumah,
10 B.P.5205 Ouaga 01.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Email address:,

Dear Sir,
First and foremost, I must apologise for the inconveniences this mail might
cause you to read, but if you could be patient enough to go through it,
you will find this a business proposition that will be beneficial to both
of us.
Before I proceed further, let me inform you that I am Mr. Kamal Usman,
and I am the direct junior brother of Dr. Ibrahim Usman, who was the former
Governor General of the African Development Bank based in Abidjan, Cote
D? Ivoire where we both resided.
I obtained your contact address while searching the internet for a reliable
person to assist me in transferring cash amount totalling Seventeen million,
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars only (USD17.250.000), deposited in
a Security Company here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Before and during the cause of the war, with the rebels, the ADB has always
been the major bank in most of the countries of West Africa, and for this
reason and others, the bank was mandated to serve as the financial institution
through which the different foreign powers that had interest in the war
channelled their contributions to the government of Cote D?Ivoire. It was
in this way that the bank received these contributions and disbursed them
to the Ministry of Finance and Economic planning, but at a stage, an unsolicited
amount of money totalling One hundred million dollars was received at the
bank from a secret account in Switzerland for onward transfer to the account
of one of the rebel leaders. The bank directors thought over this transfer
and could not effect the transfer since all assets and local accounts of
the rebels leaders has been blocked by the government. The directors therefore
held a meeting and decided to share the money among themselves since the
government was unaware of the existence of the funds. At the end of sharing
the money between the six directors of the bank, my brother received the
sum of Nineteen million dollars ($19,000.000) as the most executive officer
of the bank, and he packaged the sum of Seventeen Million, Two hundred and
Fifty thousand dollars ($17,250.000) which he deposited with the help of
his attorney in a security Company in Burkina Faso. The money has been there
ever since as my brother paid a year advance fees for the safe keeping of
the deposit box, pending when he will authorised his annual vacation period
when he intended to release the box from the company for lodgement in his
bank account in Europe, but this was not to be as the government started
negotiations with the rebel leaders which eventually brought the hostilities
to a halt on the conditions that the government accede some ministerial
and governmental powers to some of their leaders as a sign of good faith,
and this the government accepted and a certain degree of sanctity has been
restored in the Cote D?Ivoire of today, but after the seization of hostilities,
the secret group that made the $100,000.000 contribution informed the rebels
leaders of the contribution to their cause, and as this was news to the
rebel leaders and an investigation was initiated by the leaders in government,
and the six directors including my brother was arrested and has been detained
ever since 23rd May 2003, on charges of Fraud and Treason, and they are
not allowed visits. I got a court injunction to obtain permission to see
my brother in jail, and I was opportune to see him on several occasions.
On one of the visits, he called me aside and confided this transaction
and his deposited money in Burkina faso to me because as he said, he is
unaware of the governments plans towards their release, and again the yearly
advance he paid to the security company has expired as at the beginning
of the year 2004, so he asked me to go down to Burkina faso and confirm
the situation of things with the director of the security company, and this
I have done since my arrival here in February this year.
I have since been looking for a trustworthy foreigner who will come
down here to lay claims to the deposit box, and release it from the security
company management for onward transfer to his bank account in his home country.
My brother has authorised me to give out 30% of the sum total to who so
ever will be interested to assist the family in transferring this money
So my dear brother, if you are trustworthy and will ensure the safety
of this money in your custody until I come down to your country to claim
my brother?s share, then I will like you to provide immediately to me, your
full names, address and telephone number for more communications while you
could contact me for more information and details on my private line No.
Once again, thank you for your attention while I await your immediate response.
Thank you and Remain blessed by Allah.
Yours Faithfully.
Mr. Kamal Usman.

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