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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:

Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 02:33:56 -0700
Subject: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Hello?=

Dear friend,

My name is Mr. Micheal Bright, in charge of Bills and Foreign Exchange
Remittance Department LEAD BANK PLC formerly LEAD MERCHANT BANK PLC. I am
writing you this letter to ask for your support and co-operation to carry
out this business opportunity in my department.

We discovered an unclaimed sum of $35Million (Thirtyfive Million Dollars)in
an account belonging to one of our foreign customer (Neuweiler,Adrienne)
who was a petroleum/gas consultant/contactor with the Nigeria National Petroleum
corporation who happens to be deceased during a business trip. He died on
board the Swissair Flight 111, which crashed into the Atlantic off Nova
scotia in September 2nd 1998. The plane crash was in the news. See links
below for more detail information:

Since we got information about his death we have been expecting his next
of kin to come over and claim this money. Unfortunately, neither the family
nor the relation has appeared to claim this money or know that he has an
account with us. We cannot release this money unless somebody applies as
the next of kin or relation to the deceased. Our banking guidelines indicated
that if such money remained unclaimed for a period of eight (8) years, it
would be transferred into the BANK Treasury as unclaimed fund. Another officer
and I in the department now decided to transfer this money into your account
as the next of kin or relation of the deceased for easy collection since
nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go back into the
bank treasury as the unclaimed funds.

As a matter of urgency, I was mandated by my colleague to look for a
foreign partner who can cooperate with us for the transfer of the funds
outside the country. We have decided to give you 20% of the total sum. So
if you are willing to participate in this deal, do send to me,

1. Your Contact address:

2. Contact Telephone & fax Numbers for effective communication. We will
do our best to see that we conclude this transaction successfully on time.

I look forward to your urgent response.

Best Regards.

Mr.Micheal Bright.

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