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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.Amina Bello" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 15:02:30 +0700

From: Mrs.Amina Bello,

The Managing Director,

May I crave your indulgence to open this business discussion with you
by an informal letter of this sort. It is pertinent that a business of
this magnitude should have commenced properly with a formal meeting
between you and us to enable both parties know ourselves, have a fore
knowledge of the nature of the business, discuss and acquaint ourselves
with the responsibilities and functions of both parties and appropriate
shares accordingly.

Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. I am
Professional Financial Advisor on offshore and real estate investment,
Portfolio Management with a Private Security & Finance Company Here In Bangkok
Thailand. My company work for expatriate community here in Thailand. I
came to know of you in my private search for a reliable and reputable
person to handle this confidential transaction, which involves the
transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum

The proposition: A Foreigner, Late Engineer Al-Akram Bin Abdullah an
Iraqi Oil Merchant/Contractor with the Thailand National Petroleum
Corporation, lodged the sum of $9.5 Million USD with our company. Upon
Maturity, I have sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but
got no reply, after a month I sent a reminder and finally discovered from
his contract employers (TNPC) that Mr. Abdullah died in American-
British war in Baghdad last year. Ever since no close relative or family has
come forward to claim the money deposited with us. Therefore, my
colleague and I, who are the direct fund managers, have decided to
move/transfer this fund into a nominated foreign account, for future investment.
To this regards, we sincerely request for your immediate assistance and
co-operation for our mutual benefit.

1. I will forward to you copies or the deposit certificate and
2. I will issue to you a Transfer Authorization of the Consignment,
3. We shall guide you up in all that we will do in ensuring that we
this claims this consignment as soon as possible.

You should be rest assured that no one will question it because all
financial deposit Certificates and transfer authorization pass my desk for
final approval. To facilitate a smooth transaction, we have agree on
the following : 25% of the money for you as reward, 5% For expenses on
hotel , flight tickets and any other, While, 70% shall be for us {I and
my colleague}

All these will be worked out as soon as we get your interest and
acceptance. Upon the receipt of your mail message, send to me the following:
Your private telephone and fax number for easier communication and to
enable me fax to you the documents concerning the consignment. This is a
sensitive and private business, The knowledge of which should be
restricted , therefore do not discuss it with a third party, and bear it mind
that these funds is not terrorist or drug money. I am assuring you of a
100% risk free transaction. Awaiting your prompt reply.

Best Regards,
Mrs.Amina Bello.

Anti-fraud resources: