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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: "sullivan richard" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 23:11:45 -0500
Subject: From Mr.Sullivan

Shell Petroleum South-Africa.
Reply via=

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am Engineer Richard Sullivan, a Director of the Contracts Award and
review Department with the Shell petroleum South-Africa. I am contacting you
on the business of transferring the sum of US$20,500,000.00.(Twenty
Million,five Hundred thousand United States Dollars only) into a safe
account and the need is very urgent. I got your contact from the
Chambers of Commerce and it is with business trust that made me to contact
you on
this matter. I write to solicit for the transfer of this money into your
account. This Money was generated from an over Invoiced contract sum in my
corporation.I am contacting you for your help and partnership for the
following two

(1) As a civil servant, I am not permitted to own foreign accounts due
to civil service code of conduct.

(2) My present financial resources as a civil servant will not be
sufficient for me to handle the transfer alone successfully without
assistance from a reliable foreign partner abroad like you. 20% of this sum
be for you as compensation for using your Bank account in transferring this
money, 5% would be used to re-imburse the expenses made by both parties
the processing of the transfer which includes,telephone bills, travelling
expenses and fees. While 75% is for me.

Please note that I will arrange to meet with you immediately after the
successful conclusion of the transfer, the 75% share of mine will be
used for investment overseas. Your assistance and co-operation is highly
I assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free. If you are
interested I will require your banking information as mentioned below:

1. Name to be used as beneficiary and beneficiarys address.
2. Your private and confidential telephone/ fax number(s)and Cell phone.
3. Your bank name,address and bank account, your bank Telephone and fax
number(s).I hope to conclude this business within the next fourteen- (14)
working days.
Looking forward to your anticipated and urgent positive response via

Best regards,
Engr.Richard Sullivan.

Anti-fraud resources: