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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: "mrss. grace jacob" <> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:06:49 +0400

Good day to you,

l ma mrss. grace jacob, a citizen of the United State of
America and a staff of the United Nations (UN), I know
that this mail will be of great surprise to you. I got
your e-mail address from the Internet as I was
soliciting for a partner who will work with us.
Please, do not see this mail as one of those stories
from some Africans of which I have received such too.

In recent times, there have been conflicts all over
the world especially in the Middle East, which has
been of top concern to the UN. I happen to be one of
the officials assigned to Iraq. I also played a great
part in seeing that Afghanistan is been rebuilt and
that casualties, especially children are well taken
care of. During this period, my partners and I were
able to secure some amount of money amounting to
Thirty Million Five Hundred Thousand United State
Dollars ($30.5M), which was moved to Europe. Moving
this fund was easy because of the connections my
partners had. Now that things have settled, we want to
move the money out of the deposit company where it is

We are contacting you to work with us because we are
civil servants and cannot do it alone. The presence
and participation of a neutral person is needed to
achieve this transaction hence my contacting you. Note
that all the relevant documents will be in place for
this transaction to be hitch free. For your
participation, you will be getting 20% of the total

This transaction will take not more than fourteen (14)
banking/working days to be finalized from the day of
commencement. Treat with to secrecy, as we will not
want a blackmail or media scandal. You are the only
person I contacted for this transaction and will hope
to get your reply ASAP for further correspondence via
my Private email ID:
Yours faithfully,


Anti-fraud resources: