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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: "ENGR. IDRISSA DIOP" <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 22:56:03 +0000
Subject: Requesting your urgent investment partnership


Dear Sir,

I am writing you on the strength of our search for a foreign investment opportunity, partnership or individual, who can be trusted to oversee a foreign investment project. I got your contact information from a former Secretary of Standard Organisation of Senegal (SOS), who assured me your capability and good reputation in investment project. Although, I did not disclose to him the face value of the transaction which I want to discuss with you.

We are the officials of the MINISTERE De L`ENERGIE Et Des MINES, After due deliberation with my colleagues in the ministry, I was therefore mandated as a matter of trust to contact you as a partner to whom we could transfer the sum of US27.3M (Twenty Seven Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for foreign investment project, hence the need for a foreign partner. I have decided to seek for a confidential co-operation with you in the execution of this transaction described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and I hope you will maintain absolute secrecy because we are government officials.

Within my ministry where I work and with the co-operation of other top officials, we have in our possession an overdue payment bill totaling US$27.3M (Twenty Seven Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which we want to transfer out of Senegal with the assistance and cooperation of a foreign company or an individual to receive the said fund on our behalf into a reliable foreign account that will accommodate such fund. The amount represents some percentage of the contract value executed on behalf of my Ministere by a foreign contracting firm, which we the officials purposely over inflated for our own use.

Although the actual contract cost have been paid to the original contractor, leaving the balance of US$27.3M which we have in principle received an approval to remit to a foreign bank account that you will provide. Since the present Government of Senegal is determined to pay every Foreign Contractor all debts so as to maintain good relationship with foreign and non Government Financial Agences, we then decided to include our bill for approval with the cooperation of some officials from the appropriate payment agency.

We are seeking your assistance in providing a good company's account or any other bank account that will acomodate this fund into which we can remit this money by acting as the original contractor who executed the contract. This we can do by swapping of account and changing of beneficiary and other forms of documentation upon application for claim to reflect the payment and approvals to be secured on your behalf or your company. This process being an internal arrangement with the department concern. I have the authority of my partners involved to propose that should you be willing to assist in this transaction, we will share the money as thus: 30% of the total fund for you in providing a safe and reliable account that will take the total fund, 70% for us (the officials).

Please be informed that my colleagues and myself will be depending on your kind advise and directives as we wish to privately invest our share of the fund into a foreign products in your country or any other country with stable economy as you may advise in due course. So you will be expected to provide us with a background information concerning yourself and your company to enable us make an evaluation and conclude on which line of business to take as soon as this fund is received into your account. You are required to forward to me your Bank Account Number, Company name and address, your private telephone and fax numbers. This information will enable us submit the application and lodge claims to the concerned agences in your favor.

Note that it is important to maintain total confidentiality of this business because my colleagues and I are top Gouvernment Officials who have put in many years of meritorious service to this ministry and would not want to experience any kind of problem that will jeopardize our image. I wish to assure you that this transaction is expected to take 14 working days for the fund to get into your nominated bank account as you will provide.

Be kind to contact me through my confidential e-mail address ( ) or call me on my direct telephone number 00221 699.9741 for more detailed explanation.

Faithfully yours,

Monsieur Idrissa Diop
Direct Tel: 00221.699.741.
Direct E-mail:

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