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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: "Federal Ministry of Finance" <>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 12:21:04 +0100

Dear Sir/Madam,

This is to officially inform you about our recent agreement with the
Federal Government of Benin Republic to handle all their foreign contract
payments. Based on this development we have verified your
contract/inheritance file and discovered reasons why you are yet to
receive your payment. It is because of irregularities and complications
discovered on your payment file by our technical experts in respect to
your contract /inheritance payment requirements which have just been duly

However, our intelligent monitory unit to stop any further dealings with
impostors and non-recommended officials in the bank has informed us, such
acts must stop for security reasons, if you wish to receive your payment
in time and accordingly since we have decided to bring absolution to your
problem, right now we have arranged your payment through our Atm swift
card payment centre of {oceanic Bank Plc}, that is the latest instruction
by our President Chief, DR YAYI BONI (GCFR)Federal Republic of Benin
through the Minister of Finance Mrs. Pascal Usman. Below is the

The swift card centre will send you an Atm card which you will use to
withdrew your money from any Atm machine in any part of the world, but the
maximum is(Ten thousand dollars $1000.00) per day, so if you like to
receive your fund $2.8 million usd, this way please do let us know by
contacting the Atm card payment centre of {Oceanic Bank Plc}, so contact
the ATM swift card centre on this email. (
or( manager name Rev John Henry. Telephone
number; +2299-83-44-889

Asof now be informed that all charges has been paid and the ATM CARD is
going to be in your name, but to reactivate the ATM Card you have to
forward your current information’s as requested below to the bank and the
only money you will pay to the bank is Reactivation fee that is the only
fee you will be required to pay as the rightfully beneficiary, Secondly
the officer in charge is .Rev Dr John Henry, contact them via above with
all your detail, your full information.

1) Your full name.
2) Address where you want them to send the card through diplomatic courier
Service (P.O Box not accepted). 3) Your full name and total amount you are
expecting, Instead of losing your fund.
4} you’re direct telephone numbers. 5} A copy of your international passport.

Please indicate to the card center the total sum you are expecting and for
your information, you have to stop any further communication with any
institution or office until you receive the Atm card. Note: because of
impostors, we hereby issue you our code of conduct tag number, which is
(808) so you must have to indicate this code when contacting the card
center. We await your urgent response.

Office of the Federal Ministry of Finance
Eng David Kalu

Anti-fraud resources: