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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: "Mr. Gordon W." <>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 20:00:10 +0100
Subject: PROJECT.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics.
I will introduce myself as a staff in the accounts management section of
a well-known bank here in the United Kingdom.

One of our accounts with holding balance of £15,000,000 (Fifteen Million
British Pounds) has been dormant and has not been operated for the past
4 years.

From my investigations and confirmations, the owner of this account a foreigner
by name Austin Martins died in August 2000 and since then nobody has done
anything As regards the claiming of this money because he has no family
members who are aware of the existence of neither the account nor the funds.
Also Information From the National Immigration states that he was also single
on entry into the UK.

I have secretly discussed this matter with some of the bank officials and
we have agreed to find a reliable foreign partner to deal with. We thus
propose to do Business with you, standing in as the next of kin of these
funds from the deceased and funds released to you after due processes have
been followed.

This transaction is totally free of risk and troubles as the fund is a legitimate
and does not originate from drug, money laundry, terrorism or any other
illegal act. On your interest, let me hear from you.



This message contains confidential information and is intended only for
specified addressee. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate,
distribute or copy this e-mail. The sender therefore does not accept liability
for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise
as a result of e-mail transmission. Please note that we reserve the right
to monitor and read any emails sent and received under the Telecommunications
(Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations

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Anti-fraud resources: