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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: Michael Young <>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:55:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Please Reply Soon

(Branch Manager)
62/64 President Drive
South West Ikoyi Branch, Lagos

I will appreciate your urgent reply as soon as you recieve this email. I am Mr. Michael Young, Branch Manager of Zenith Bank, Ikoyi Lagos. I made up my mind with trust to contact you for an urgent and very confidential business based on similarity in your last name.
On the 7th of Nov. 2002, a foreign fiber optics consultant/contractor, Engineer. Hegewald made a numbered time (Fixed)Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at US$2,800,000.00(Two Million eight hundred thousand United states dollars) in my branch.
Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, He died from a gastly motor accident with his wife and only daughter. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. I therefore made further investigation and discovered that he did not declare any next of kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paper work in my Bank.
This sum of $2,800,000.00 is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it. At the expiration of 5 (five) years, the money will be reverted to the bank reserve account if no body applies to claim this fund.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foriegner to stand in as the next of kin to him hence you have thesame last name with him so that the fruits of this Man's labour will go in vain. This is simple as long am here to direct and provide you with every information required.

There is no risk at all as all the paper work for this transaction will be done by the Attorney and my position as the Branch Manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. We shall employe the service of an Attorney for drafting and notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration
in your favour for the transfer. If you are interested,please reply immediately .
Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction. We shall be sharing the fund at equal ratio.
All i want from you is honest and trustworthy. Please observe utmost confidentiality and be rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country.
I await your urgent reply with your full names, address and telephone and fax#. Thank you.

Mr. Michael Young

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