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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: "Barr, Mike Edem." <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 23:35:31 +0200
Subject: Investment & Plan.

Ant, Sir.
Investment Plan

I am pleased to get across to you for very urgent profitable business proposal, though I do not know you neither have I seen you before but I believe first of all that I must trust you before we can make a successful transaction.

I am barrister, Mike Edem, I have a client whom I was his manager/solicitor, my client died during the Niger Delta fracas in (2003) he was a contractor with mobile producing unlimited.
He has in his account deposit the sum of (U.S $32.3) million, thirty-two million three hundred thousand U.S Dollars.

Unfortunately, he died three years ago and now I need your assistance as a foreigner to act as the next of kin/associate so that I can transfer the funds with your information out of Nigeria for investmen.

You will send me the following information:
1) Your full names and address
2) Your direct telephone numbers.

The whole procedures will last only ten working days to get the fund retrieved successfully, your response is only what I am waiting for, for the documentation and approval of the transaction.

When you get back to me indicating your interest, then I will furnish you with the whole procedures to ensure that the deal is successfully concluded.

For your assistance, I have agreed principle, to offer you 20% of the total sum at the end of the transaction. It is 100% risk free; all communication towards this transaction will be through telephone and email.

Yours faithfully
Barr, Mike Edem.

Anti-fraud resources: