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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: "Sgt. Mike Smith" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 19:55:16 -0000
Subject: =?koi8-r?B?VGhhbmtzIGZvciB5b3VyIHVuZGVyc3RhbmRpbmcg?=

Hello Friend,

My name is Sgt.Mike Smith, an American soldier serving in the military of the
1st Armoured Division in Iraq. The truth, we have recently discovered another
block funds during our recent raid Near Baghdad; mostly in 100 dollar bills
counted in bundles and assumed its US$15.3 (Fifteen million, Three Hundred
Thousand US Dollars. However, we did not disclose the discovery of this
particular Box to our Military Authorities in Iraq because the other one we
discovered we alerted our Military Authorities/Government; you can see the
for more details.

So this USD15.3M. we discovered recently, we did not let the government to
know about it. We intended to put this to our own use at the time of our
retirement because it is a rare opportunity. Secondly, this was quite an
illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation would make up for
risk we have taken here with our lives in this Hell Hole; of which some of my
colleagues have died in Iraq. I spend my days searching for weapon and
Houses here in Iraq without knowing whether the House am about to walk into
BOOBY TRAPPED and a lot of other inconveniences.

To conceal this kind of money becomes a problem but with the help of a
Diplomat working here who enjoys some Diplomatic Immunity I was able to get
package out of trouble spot to a safe location enroute to Europe via
Courier. It is presently kept in a vault handled by Fund Managers, a security

We now want you to receive this fund for us and keep our share safe in your
country. Myself and my partners involved in the business will take 70%, while
you take 30% of the total Amount, no strings attached,

For security purposes we did not mention any name but we gave a code and
password which you must mention to the clearing house where the money was
deposited for them to recognize you as a trustee of this deposit. I will give
you the code and password together with the contact of the security firm
the money was deposited in Europe for you to contact them with the Code and
the passwords which I will send to you as soon as I receive your response so
they would feel free to deal with you and release the fund to you.

Please keep very confidential as you shall be furnished with every details as
soon as your response is received.


Sgt.Mike Smith

I assure you 100% free risk, as long as you keep it confidential because no
body knows about this axcept me and my colleague. More over, please do not
reveal this message to anyone even if you are not interested.

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