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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: "ANDREW IKEM" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 05:23:03 -0800

Dear Sir

I decided to contact you based on a satisfactory information we had about
your country as regards to the safety of our funds in a steady economy of
the first world such as your country.
My name is Andrew Ikem, as a matter of fact, I am the principal Accountant
of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Board of Trustees Corporation
(NNPCBT). My colleague and I need your assistance in an urgent transaction
of US$50 million, (FIFTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)which we discovered
as an over invoiced sum from some foriegn contractors during the millitary
era. We suspected it to be an arangement between the contractor and some of
the then millitary top official in power without knowing that they would be
forced out of power.
All i want from you is to forward your name and account number as the
beneficiary of the fund which is almost ready to be paid into any reliable
account you may nominate overseas.
But before we proceed, we must exchange our identification considering the
fact that we are just meeting for the first time.
I suggested this because of the fact that i am trying to avoid what happened
to most of my friends in the government especially we the civil servants
that is not allowed to own or operate a foreign account here and must
contact a foreign partner in a transaction like this hence my contacting
We wish to assure you that your involvement should you decide to assist us,
will be well protected. This business is 100% risk free as we have secured
our own side of the transaction. We have also put in place the machinery to
guarantee a successful conclusion of the transfer into your account.
Be informed also that the transfer of the said $50M will be made in less
than 7 working days depending on how fast we work in getting all the
documents needed on your behalf as the beneficiary of the funds.
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation, while we look forward to a
mutually benefiting business relationship with you.
Please when replying, kindly include your private Telephone and Fax numbers,
where I can reach you any time of the day.
Send your reply to my confidential mail or call
me on 234-803-7872065
Thanks and Best regards,
Andrew Ikem

Anti-fraud resources: