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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: "Uk National Lottery" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 17:20:45 +0000
Subject: Attention:Your Concern

My Dear Friend,

This communication to you is strictly confidential, with due respect. Sorry
at this perceived confusion or stress you may have receiving this letter
from me, Since we have not known ourselves or met previously. Despite that,
I am constrained to write you this letter because of the urgency of it.By
way of self introduction

I am Dr. Mrs. Mariam Abacha, wife to the late Nigerian Head of state,
General Sani Abacha who died on the 8th of June 1998 while still on active
service for our Country. I am contacting you with the hope that you will be
of great assistance to me, I currently have within my reach the sum of 24
million U.S dollars cash which I intend to use for investment purposes
outside Nigeria.

This money came as a result of a payback contract deal between my husband
and a Russian firm in our country's multi-billion dollar Ajaokuta steel
plant. The Russian partners returned my husbands share being the above sum
after his death. Presently, the new civilian Government has intensified
their probe into my husbands financial resources which has led to the
freezing of all our accounts, local and foreign, the revoking of all our
business licences and the arrest of my First son. In view of this I acted
very fast to withdraw this money from one of our finance houses before it
was closed down.

I have deposited the money in a security company with the help of very loyal
officials of my late husband. No record is known about this fund by the
government because there is no documentation showing that we received such
funds. The consignment was kept on an "OPEN BENEFICIARY MANDATE" with the
Security Company to avoid detection, seizure or diversion.
Due to the current situation in the country and government attitude to my
family, I cannot make use of this money within, thus I seek your help in
transferring this funds out of the sub-African region. Bearing in mind that
you may assist me, l have decided
to part with 20% of the total sum.

Please kindly reply through this email address: with
your letter of acceptance and your willingness in assisting me to receive
the fund,also include your Physical Address, personal telephone and fax

Your URGENT response is needed.


Dr. Mrs. Mariam Abacha.

Anti-fraud resources: