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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: "Ubi Telga" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 23:57:49 -0600
Subject: Good Morning


I hope you will receive this letter in good health and understanding. As the
head of codes and immunity section of our company, my job is physically
demanding so I could not embark on a trip to visit you in regards to the
contents of this letter.

I write you this letter to assist me facilitate a transfer into your bank
account. Our company insured an investment fund valued at six million four
hundred thousand United States dollars in overseas on behalf of a customer
who died in a disaster with his family. Since his death, I have made several
efforts to trace any surviving member of his family but no relation of his
was found. As a result of this, I tampered with the documents/records of
this deposit and kept them in my possession pending when I will get the
assistance of someone to stand as his next of kin in order to claim the
deposit from the bank. In my position, it is easy for me to document your
name as the next of kin to the deceased through the company's codes and
immunity section in United Kingdom. The operation of this transfer is 100%
risk free because the deposit was covered and insured in accordance with the
International financial laws.

I do not want to involve my relatives or friends in this venture in order
not to disclose the source of my wealth to someone who could blackmail me in
the future. This is why I decided to contact a neutral person like you so
that we can jointly execute this venture under a confidential atmosphere.
Kindly write me back as soon as possible so that we can have an intense
discussion in this regard. You can as well send me a fax on 44-871-2514946.
Thanks, UT

Anti-fraud resources: