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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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Some comments about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Mariama Aba" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 12:56:21 +0000


Following the sudden death of my husband General Sani Abacha the late former
head of state of Nigeria in June 1998, I have been thrown into a state of
utter confusion, frustration and hopelessness by the present civilian
administration, I have been subjected to physical and psychological torture
by the security agents in the country.

As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with anybody
within the country. You must have heard over the media reports and the
internet on the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my
husband in different security firms abroad, some companies willingly give up
their secrets and disclosed our money confidently lodged there or many
outright blackmail.

In fact the total sum discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of
$700Million dollars. And they are not relenting to make me poor for life. I
got your contacts through my personal research, and out of desperation
decided to reach you through this medium.I will give you more information
as to this regard as soon as you reply.

I repose great confidence in you hence my approach to you due to security
network placed on my day to day affairs I cannot afford to visit the embassy
so that is why I decided to contact you and I hope you willnot betray my
confidence in you.
I have deposited the sum of 13.6million dollars with a security firm abroad
whose name is with held for now until we open communication. I shall be
grateful if you could receive this funds and keep it safe .This arrangement
is known to you and my son Mohamed alone, so my son will deal directly with
you as security is up my whole being.

I am seriously considering to settle down abroad in a friendly atmosphere
like yours as soon as this fund get into your account so that I can start
all over again if only you wish, but if it is impossible,just help me in
diverting this fund into your account which will accrue you 30% of this
fund.Please honesty is the watch word in this transaction.I will require
your telephone and fax numbers so that we can commence communication
immediately and I will give you a more detailed picture of things.

In case you dont accept please do not let me out to the security as I am
giving you this information intotal trust and confidence.
I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith.Please
expedite action.

Sincerely yours,

Hajia Mariam.

Anti-fraud resources: