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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: "Steve Mazzie" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 01:56:04 +0300


Dear Sir,

I decided to contact you because of the prevailing security report reaching my office concerning your unclaimed inheritance payment fund. The Paying Bank has planned to transfer your inheritance sum of Twelve Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$12,700, 000.00) into your nominated bank account in your favor. Alternatively the Bank can equally deliver the fund to you through immunity cash delivery system of payment.

The bank has concluded plans to change all documents relating to the fund in your name for prove of ownership as nest of kin to your late cousin's fund through our accredited attorney, since all former documents is still in your late cousin's name.

You should therefore contact and reply this letter to the Bank Payment Coordinator (Steve Mazzie, Tel. +44 2071797777, Email: as he has been empowered and authorized to handle either transferring of the fund into your nominated bank account through direct Telegraphic Electronic Transfer Payment System (TETPS) or Cash Delivery Payment System (CDPS).

Please indicate method of payment that is convenient for you to receive the fund immediately as all modalities has been put in place for payment of the fund in your favor to avoid returning of the fund back to Federal Government Treasury Account at the end of this month as unclaimed fund. You should the before forward your Contact Address,Banking Information, Telephone & Fax and Copy of your International Passport or Driving License for identification.

Best Regards,

Alhaji Umaru B Girei
Executive Secretary
Board of Directors
Central Bank of Nigeria

Anti-fraud resources: