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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: "Mr. D. Idris" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 04:57:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From: Mr. Idris

From: Mr. Idris


I am Mr. Idris, branch bank manager here in Ghana. My branch made excess profit of US$5,950,000.00 during the last fiscal year, which I placed on Escrow Call account without a beneficiary in our bank since i have already submitted 2009 approved end of the year report to our head office. In essence i need trustworthy foreigner whom will stand as the original depositor of this fund, so that the fund will be transferred to his/her private or company account immediately.

This transaction is bank to bank transfer and no risks involve. I will use my position to influence this project in other to expedite the transfer by our bank head office. You will have 35% of the total sum, 5% for expenses incurred during the conclusion of this transaction while 60% for me.

Await your positive reply for more details and the next step to proceed.
Best regards,
Mr. Idris

Anti-fraud resources: