fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Fraud email example:

Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005 17:38:35 +0000
Subject: Make A Choice On How To Recieve Your Winning Prize.

Liverpool, L70 1NL UPON - TYNE
P O Box 1010
ATTN:Marcella W.Atchley,
You are welcome to the Uk Lottery Payment Office an affiliate of the uk national lottery .I am pleased to be at your service.
I am Sending you all necessary document backing your wins, but you will have to satisfy our courier charges via our upfront options.
This means that you have been officially cleared for payment by the Verifications Dept. at the headquarters of the  uk natioanl lottery.
The original copy of your winning certificate, together with a covering document (Money Laundering protection and Letter of Affidavit for Claims) from the British government stating that the money was obtained legally through the uk national lottery will be sent to you as soon as you meet with any of the option selected.
You can now begin the final step of the claims process, which is the transferring of your cash prize to you. With regards to this, there are two options open to you, you are required to select the most convenient of the two.
You are to make your prefered and affordable choice in OPTION 1
The options, together with their associated conditions are presented below:
Courier of your winning draft to you via any of this channel listed below:
DHL UK Home 
Mailing:      290.00
Insurance:  170.00
Vat:              120.00
TOTAL:        580.00

Mailing:     250.00
Insurance: 150.00
Vat:             90.00
TOTAL:        490.00
FedEx Express Logo
Mailing:      285.00
Insurance:    160.00
Vat:                80.55
TOTAL:        525.55
The insurance company declined reverse payment for the courier, stating that it is against their professional policy towards ensuring the safe delivery of the draft to you. That if a reverse payment is made, and something goes wrong, that we/you cannot sue the courier company or insurance company to recover the full value of the fund as stipulated in the draft since payment for insurance cover was not made at point of mailing. With the above reason, reverse payment is ruled out. Forward the cost of mailing your draft with any of the courier channel cost you choose above to us.
Option 2:
The said amount 2,500,000( Two Million Five hundred thousand Pounds Sterling) will be wired to your bank account via swift bank transfer. Condition: The cost of COT (commission of transfer) being charged by our transferring bank, which is 5,500 of the cash being transferred will be paid by you before the transfer can be made to your bank account that you will give to us.
Note that your prize is protected by a hardcover insurance policy, which makes it impossible to deduct any amount from the money before it has been remitted to you. This means that the above charges cannot be deducted from the prize and hence must be provided by you before your prize is transferred to you.
This is in accordance with section 13(1)(n) of the national gambling act as adopted in 1993 and amended on 3RD July 1996 by the constitutional assembly.This is to protect winners and to avoid misappropriation of funds

Please respond to this email by making a selection from the two options above.
Also attach a scanned copy of either your driver's licence, international passport (photo page) or any other legally identifying document.
Also be reminded that the deadline for the claiming of winnings is exactly one weeks after the receipt of this email. After this period, your cash prize will be deemed to have been forfeited by you and will be reused in the drawings of the next edition of the lottery.
Good luck and Congratulations once again. Please send your response to this same email address .
Mr Richard cooker
Head Of Payment Office.

Anti-fraud resources: