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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: "Mr.Frank Willie." <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 13:15:35 +0000
Subject: pls reply


I am the Manager incharge of consignment and foreign delivery department of a security firm here in London.My firm has been widely used for deposit of vital documents and properties,mostly by prominent World leaders in America,Asia,Africa and Europe.I just discovered an unclaim trunk valued at $35M (Coded American Dollars)deposited by a foreign customer MR.ANDREAS SCHRANNER from Munich, Germany who I notice died in July 2000 in a plane crash.You can visit this site for update:

Since I discovered about his death,I have been expecting any of his relations to come over and make claim for this trunk because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as relation to the deceased as indicated in our professional working ethics/guidelines. Unfortunately I learnt that he died with his family in the plane crash leaving nobody
behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you and to legally release the Trunk to you as the depositor for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it.The law and guidlines here stipulates that if such Trunk or money remain unclaimed after five years,it will be disbounded
to the Governments treasury as unclaimed bill when discovered.

The request for a foreign personality like you in this business is occassioned by the very fact that the customer was a foreigner, and a staff of this company cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner or as the
depositor.What I have to do is to process the Certificate of deposit in your name as the depositor,issued to you as of the time you deposited
the trunk with my company.The United Nation(UN) Office here will issue Anti-Terrorist Clearance Coverage on the trunk and with this,your embassy here will endorse the shipment in line with the UN embargo on shipment
ethics 72 of the delivery Act.I will work out all the shipment process and the special diplomatic delivery to our clearing house in Canada, the Netherlands, or in Dubai for your pick up.

We can discuss more on the working percentage upon receipt of your expression of interest in making this project a success.I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application.I will not fail to bring
to your notice that this project is 100% hitch-free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required legal arrangements for the approval and the shipment will be in place to avoid any question
from your Government.

You should call or contact me as soon as you receive
this letter via my private id:

trusting to hear from you.

Yours Faithfully,
Mr.Frank Willie.

Anti-fraud resources: