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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: "Dr. Michael Odum" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 18:28:35 -0400

                                                                      PAYMENT NOTICE
Following the failure of banks and other financial institutions and agencies to release your overdue inheritance fund payment, the federal government has directed the federal ministry of finance, to device a means of paying all beneficiaries, including you.
The best and most efficient way of doing this, we have discovered, is by processing and sending your ATM card. This has been adjudged the best and most effective way of paying beneficiaries without any stoppages as the various banks have experienced using the wire transfer mode of payment, requiring series of transfer documents which costs quite a lot of money.
We are therefore processing your ATM card, which will be ready in few days time and shall be sent to you along with the brochure to guide you on how to use the card. The card shall be loaded with your part payment.
On receipt of the ATM card, you will be able to make withdrawals, not exceeding $20,000 per day, but the limit of withdrawal shall be expanded after one week, whereby you can withdraw more than $20,000 per day until the amount loaded in the card is exhausted. The second card shall then be processed with the remaining half of your fund.
You are therefore, requested to reconfirm to us if this mode of payment is o.k. by you as well as your address where you will be on hand to receive the package containing your card and sign off the register that will come along with the delivery courier, confirming that you have received your card because it is a very sensitive document that cannot be received by proxy.
Get back to me as soon as you receive this email so that the processing of your card can be completed and sent to you. Also reach me with your telephone number for faster communication.
Thanking you,
Dr. Michael Odum,
Director, Foreign Payment,
Federal Ministry Of Finance
Tel: +2348022493092.

Anti-fraud resources: