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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:

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 22:13:17 +0100
Subject: Good day,

Good day,

As the Chairman of the committee responsible for the award of contracts at
the Ministry of Energy,Mines and Water,Republic of Benin.I have accumulated
funds totalling $32.5m from my share of deliberate over-invoicing of

These contracts have been executed,the contractors paid and have since
left.I want to present you as a sub-contractor to the projects whose payment
is still outstanding so that we can claim the money.You will be presented as
the beneficiary of the funds and I will use my position to facilitate the
approval and release of the funds to your nominated account and come over to
you for the sharing/investment of the funds.

Please contact me on my private e-mail address below if you are serious and
capable of handling this transaction for details and strategies of
successful conclusion.<>

Yours sincerely,

Nelson Bocco

Anti-fraud resources: