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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: Esq Saka Saliou <>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 19:05:36 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: To; heer H.C. Luiken

Counselors at Law
03 BP 2335,Cotonou Republic Du Benin.
Fax. 21 31 35 05
Direct Tele.+229 97 89 24 79

Atten:  heer H.C. Luiken,
I am Barrister Saliou SAKA, a solicitor at law, personal attorney to Engr.Rudolph Luiken, a national of your country, who used to work with Shell Development Company in COTONOU REPUBLIC OF BENIN. Here in after shall be referred to as my client. On the 4th of July 2006, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name with my country chamber of commerce, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the fund valued at US$6.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confiscated or declared unserviceable by the FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF CONTINENTAL BANK OF BENIN where this huge amount were deposited. The said CONTINENTAL BANK OF BENIN has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confiscated within the next twenty one official working days..
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names and come from the same country, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. All I require from you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. In your return mail kindly indicate to me your personal telephone and fax number for further oral clarification and you call me upon your receipt of this mail.
Best Regards,
+229 97 89 24 79

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