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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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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Paul Taylor" <>
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 12:10:55 +0000
Subject: From Paul Taylor.

>From Eric Taylor.

Dear Good Friend,

First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue
of its nature as being totally confidential and secret. Though I know that
transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and worried
because you do not know me, but I am assuring you that all will be well at
the end of the day. I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this
transaction. Also, I have been reliably and convinced of your discreetness
and ability to handle this transaction. Let me start by introducing myself
properly to you. I am Paul Taylor, Cousin and Personal confidant of former
Liberian President, Mr. Charles Taylor. I came to know you through my
private search for someone I can confidently trust on, and I believe we can
transact this business.

I want you to help claim and clear this Package that is already in the U.S,
which I shipped through Diplomatic means with the help of a Diplomat. The
content of the Package is $8.2m (Eight Million and Two Hundred Thousand U.S.
Dollars), all in $100 bills. The Diplomat does not know that the Package
contains money, because it was declared as personal effects and. These funds
resulted from the excess sales of Diamond, as my Country is very blessed
with the Precious Stone. I then arranged for the packaging of the funds and
thereafter, it was shipped to the U.S through a United Nation’s (U.N)

If you are willing and interested to assist me, kindly send to me Your
Mailing/Home Address and Your Private Phone and Fax numbers. Then I will
forward your contacts to the Diplomat, to enable him know exactly where he
will deliver the package after clearing it from the U.N Holding. I will give
you 20% of the total fund. Therefore, if this arrangement is okay for you,
try as much as possible to email me so that we can go ahead and achieve our
endeavor, and other modalities will be discussed later including sending the
keys of the boxes to you.

Looking forward to receiving your reply.

Best Regards,
Paul Taylor.

Anti-fraud resources: