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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: "Steven Mphiri" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2010 16:05:24 +0200
Subject: Top Security Secret

Dear Sir/Madam,

This mail may come to you as a surprise. Though we have not met before my writing you but due to the problem we are presently facing, I decided to send out this mail to any person that will be willing to assist us. I am Mr. Steven Mphiri the Personal Assistant on financial matters to the former Governor of Delta State of Nigeria (Chief James Ibori) who is currently held in United Arab Emirates (Dubai) for money laundering. You must have heard about this man on CNN or BBC or read about him on national dailies so I don’t think there is need for too much explanation. Actually he is accused of mismanaging the state funds and based on this allegation, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) declared him wanted. An attempt was made to arrest him but failed as he fled his home town (Oghara in Delta State of Nigeria) to Dubai where he is currently being held. All bank account in his name across the world has been frozen under the instruction of the EFCC but there are acco
unts we opened with security and

I need you to assist me to claim the money from the security firm. Remember that this fund is coded and nobody knows that the money exists except me and the former Governor. You are to stand as one of the foreign contractors that are being owed by the state. If you will be willing to assist me, I will give you more details on the fund and I will give you information on how to contact the security firm after making out an application for the release of the money to you with the official document(s) available to me. You must keep this information top secret at all times and if you are not willing to assist, please delete this information from your mailbox. Do not threat this mail as one of the unsolicited emails from Nigeria. At the end of the transaction when the money must have entered your bank account, we shall give you 40% of the fund and the balance invested into any profitable venture in your country on our behalf. Bear in mind that the moment you confirm receipt of th
e money in your account, I will t

There is no risk attached in this transaction as long as you keep it top secret at all times. It is estimated that this transaction will be completed within TEN (10) working days from the very day you indicate interest to assist. Reply this mail to email address:

God will surely bless you if you help us.

Steven Mphiri

Anti-fraud resources: