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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: "Dan Ugochukwu" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 10:09:26 +0000

{Solicitor $ Advocate}
Lagos Nig.

I am Barrister DANNIEL UGOCHUKWU, lawyer to MR.PETER BUSH, AN Oil
Contractor/Consultant, Who migrated from your country. On Monday, July 21,
2003 my client with his wife and their two sons were involved in a plane
crash that happened in Kenya, East Africa. Unfortunately, they all lost
their lives in the event of the accident.

Since then I have made several enquiries to locate any of their extended
families and this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several
unsuccessful attempts, I decided to trace his relatives over the Internet,
to locate any member of his family but no progress yet, hence I contacted

I contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind
before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where he
lodged these huge deposits Particularly, the bank where the deceased had an
account valued at about $14.6 million U.S dollars (fourteen million,six
hundred thousand). Consequently, the bank issued me a notice to provide the
Successor or have the account confiscated within a short time.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over some years
now, I seek your consent to present you as the Successor to the deceased so
that the proceeds of the account valued at $14.6 million U.S dollars
(fourteen million,six hundred thousand) can be paid to your account for both
of us to share the fund in ratio of 65% to me and 30% to you, while 5%
should be for expenses or tax as your government may require.

I have legal documents that will be used to backup the claim. All I require
is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through and help the
little baby to see for her future. I guarantee that this will be executed
under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach
of the law both now and in future.

I anticipate your mail.
Principal Attorney
Get back to me through this email for confidentiality purpose.

Anti-fraud resources: