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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:

Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 12:17:06 +0100
Subject: Hello

I am Joe Milton, Group Finance Director of Nationwide Bank,
London and in charge of the account of former Liberia
President, Mr. Charles Taylor. Presently, there is
mounting pressureby the United States and the United
Nations to extradict Mr. Charles Taylor to the Hague
for war crime trial. While he was President of Liberia,
he instructed me to open an account with a fictitious
name and a deposit of £10.5 Million was made.

Now Mr. Charles Taylor cannot claim the money without me
but I can claim the money with the help of a foreign partner
to be the Portfolio Manager to the wealth. I am seeking for
whom I can trust with this funds, please confirm to me if the above
suits you. Get back to me on your position and lets proceed without delay.

Thank you.

Joe Milton

Anti-fraud resources: