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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: "=?utf-8?q?Mr.Richard=20Mark?=" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:38:20 -0800 (PST)

¡Tengo nueva dirección de correo!Ahora puedes escribirme

- Attn:Customer,Following just the email sent to this Western Union Office through the(IMF OFFICE) and Note, an Order has passed from the President (YAR'ADUA),for immediate payment of US$1.700,000.00 (One Million,Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) was discused today to be paid and can only be paid through this Western Union Money Transfer Department of Nigeria. This is to help us check-mate all the Fraudlent activities going on here in Nigeria and Africa at large.Please be informed that this funds are coming directly from the International Monetary Funds headquarters and we are assign only to pay beneficiaries once they meet their financial obligations.We are sending you a scanned copy of your western union transfer slip for confirmation in respect of your approved first pay-out of $10,000 every 7 hour, this will enable you walk into any western union shop of your choice and pick up your unds.After a meeting that was held in the office of the Presidency in regards to this, we have agreed to pay you a total of US$10,000.00 in every Seven Hours (7 ) until the funds US$1.7 Million is completely paid as agreed in today's meeting.Below is the Money Control Number (MTCN): 7665438245.Amount: $10,000 USD MTCN NO: 7665438245 first name: MARK STEVENlast name: JAMESNote that this money We gave to you the details today was only investigated and approved to release through your Email Address, But does not bear your name as the receiver's We requested that you send to us your full receiving NAMES immediately for your payment confirmation. this is Only for the names of reciever to be activated to your own name through our officer incharge at the counter here in Nigeria and start receiving your money as advice to be paid to you Bit by Bit.Therefore advice you to re-confirm us your Full Name only to enable this office Change immediately and sign to your own name for easy collection and to enable you walk into any western union shop of your choice and pick up your funds.PLEASE do not bother going to pick up this Funds because you may be arrested as the does not bear your name as the receiver yet. (ADVICE)Therefore, we ADVICE you to email back immediately you recieve this message to enable us advice with more details of claim. Call me immediately on my direct phone +234-803-417-0264 for urgent directives and recieve your Funds. Sincerely,Richard Mark Western Union Payments

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