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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: "Larry coleman" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 00:32:19 +0000


I am MR LARRY coleman, a private financial consultant. I am the personal
financial / business consultant to a foreigner who died in U.K. without any
will. I contacted your Embassy to locate any of my client’s relatives,
immediate or extended and this has proved unsuccessful.
After several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over
the Internet and locate any member of his family but it was a futile search.
Hence, I am contacting you. I need you to assist in securing the money and
property left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the bank where his huge deposits were lodged. Particularly,
the bank where the deceased had a domiciliary account valued Twenty-six
million, five hundred thousand ($26.5m) United States Dollars. The bank has
issued a notice that I provide the Next of Kin or have the account
confiscated within the next one month.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over two years
now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased
since you are from the same country and have same surname so that the
proceeds of this account valued at $26.5 million Dollars can be paid to you
and then you and me can share the money. The sharing ratio will be 60% to me
and 37% to you, while 3% should be for expenses or tax as your government
may require.
I have all necessary documents to back up claims if you consent as Next of
Kin. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us execute this deal
with absolute confidentiality from you. I guarantee that this will be done
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you. Please get in touch
with me by email to enable us discuss further.

Best regards,


This electronic message transmission contains information that
is confidential or privileged. The information is intended to be
for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are
not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure,
copying, distribution or use of the contents of this
information is prohibited.


Anti-fraud resources: