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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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Fraud email example:

From: "Mrs Maryam Abacha." <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 18.43.39 +0200
Subject: Please confirm if you receive.

Dear Beloved,
Due to the sudden death of my husband General Sanni Abacha the former
Head of State of Nigeria in June 1998, I have been thrown into a state
of hopelessness by the present administration. I have lost confidence
with anybody within my country. I got your contacts through personal
research, and had to reach you through this medium. I will give you
more details when you reply.
Due to security network placed on my daily affairs I cannot visit the
embassy so that is why I have contacted you by email. My husband
deposited $38 000,000.00 Million United States dollars with a security firm abroad
whose name is witheld for now till we communicate. I will be happy if
you can receive this fund into your account for safe keeping and I
assure you 15% of thiS fund as compensation for all your efforts.

Please expedite action.
Yours sincerely,
Mrs Maryam Abacha.

Anti-fraud resources: