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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 by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Miss Helen Fatima" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 14:26:50 +0200

Hello My Dear
I regret this informal way of contacting you which I believe would be
most effective with regards to the Message I intend to bring to your
notice. It is imperative that I adopt this means of communication to
safeguard my interest and guarantee that secrecy is not compromised. I
searched and got your contact through the online contact guide and want to
use the opportunity to express my interest in doing business with you as
I believe that you are reliable in handling this type of international
transaction due to your reputation.
My name is Helen Fatima the wife of Fatima of the Army Logistics and supply, Gambian armed forces .My Husband have been accused of trying to overthrow the Government of my country and has been subsquently arrested just for having opposing veiwes on certain issues with the President,President Yahya Jammeh.There has been vindictive policies made by the present government just to frustrate my family.Some people in the government just don't like my husband because of the position he occupy in the army.
For Reference =(<>)
However,I am now able to move to our neighbouring country Senegal with my only child Stephen and will like to relocate to your country immediately out of fear of the unknown.My husband has informed me of a great sum of money he deposited in Seengal and has instructed me that i move it out of Senegal immediately,so that i will be able to use to for my future and the future of our only son.
I want to transfer and invest this sum of 8.5 million US dollars in your country.I
have not decided what kind of investment but I have real-estate
properties in mind.I will like to keep the money in your care.
I will invite you to visit me here in Senegal immediately to sign up an agreement with me and will give you all the necessary information about how the fund will be transfered.It will also enable us establish the trust and confidence needed in this transaction.I will offer you 20% commission of the total investment fund and
additional 5% for any expenses which you might in-cure as a result of this
transaction including traveling, accommodation and other expenses.So if
you can handle the business,please mail me immediately with your private
phone and fax numbers for easier communication.
By the virtue of my position,you shall protect my interest in this
business transaction and treat it with absolute confidentiality.I am
looking forward to your immediate response.However, understand
that the transaction is 100% risk free,as i have made all necesary arrangement
for smooth movement of the fund to your country.
Thanks for your co-operation,
Miss Helen Fatima.

Anti-fraud resources: