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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:

Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 12:15:35 +0000

ATTN Dear,

I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation to write you this very urgent
and confidential letter. I am Ibrahim Hassan, Currently, the Chief account
Officer with the Intercontinental Bank Nigeria Plc.

I was the account manager to Late Mr. Michael James in the year 1997-2000; he
is a National of France who worked with Shell Development Company herein
Nigeria. On Monday, 27th January, 2003, 15:53 GMT it was reported to us that
Mr. Michael James, his wife and their only daughter were involved in
bomb blast, unfortunately, the family lost their lives. You can confirm the
blast by publication on;

Since then we have looked forward in our Bank to receiving a requisition letter
to transfer his estate to any available next of kin, which until now have
to no avail. I now took it upon myself as a responsibility to make sure the
funds are transferred to his next of kin which still has proved unsuccessful
even after several inquiries to the embassy of France here in Nigeria to locate
any of Late Mr. Michael James extended relatives. After these several
unsuccessful attempts, I had reached to an alternative since the late Michael
James is a foreigner; I decided to contact you to stand as the Next of Kin for
our own mutual benefits an d assist in repatriating the estate funds valued at
US$35 Million (Thirty Five Million United States Dollars) deposited herein our
bank, Intercontinental Bank Nigeria Plc. before it gets confiscated or declared

However, since I have been unsuccessful in locating any of late Mr. Michael
James extended families, I then seek and crave your utmost assistance and
corporation during the repatriating exercise to enhance a swift movement of the
funds from my bank into your safe hands, while we will work out in honesty an
agreeable sharing ratio that would mutually benefit both of us. On this
you have to bear in mind that the procedures to retrieving these funds are
and would not in any manner infringe on your Individual rights.

If you are interested you should contact me immediately, also kindly keep this
information to yourself top secret and confidential while I expect your most
welcomed response.

Best Regards,
Ibrahim Hassan.

Anti-fraud resources: