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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: "Barrister Mike" <>
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 22:57:11 +0000

From:Barrister Mike Attah
Royal Chambers And Associates
Private E-mail address is:

Attn: Sir/Madam

I am Barrister Mike Attah, a solicitor at law.I am the personal attorney to
Late Mr. Mark A. Pacheco, a national of your country, who until his death
was an employee with Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria. my
client who died together with his family on vacation holiday at Tsunami
disaster: this is the link of the disaster for your confirmation,
ttp://, unfortuniate lost their lives
in that disaster last year December 26, 2004 Tsunami Thialand, which took
thousands of lives. Since then I have made several inquiries to my clients
country's embassy to locate any of his extended relatives, this has also
proved unsuccessful.

Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my
clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these
several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name so as to
locate any nearest relative or to locate any member of his family hence I
contacted you.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contacted you to
assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client
before they are confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where this
huge deposits were lodged, particularly the Standard Trust Bank Ltd where
the deceased had an account Valued at about US$10,500,000.00 (Ten
million,Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) The Constitutional
provision of the Federal Republic of Nigeria further mandates the deceased
attorney to repatriate the funds to original country of deceased if
established. The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or
have the account confiscated within the next 21 official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives after the disaster,
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so
that the proceeds of this account valued at US$10,500,000.00)

1) 40% to you.

2) 55% to Me

3) 5% will set aside for any expenses incured by both of us during the
process of this transfer.

All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see this deal
through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
arrangement. You can contact me through my alternate
e-mail( and enclose your private telephone number
for easy communication.

Best regards,
Barr. Mike Attah (Esq).

Anti-fraud resources: