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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: "EFCC" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 03:05:17 +0100
Subject: Complaint Center.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.


The Federal Government of Nigeria through provisions in Section 419 of the Criminal Code came up with punitive measures to deter and punish offenders.The Advance Fee Fraud section deal mainly with cases of advance fee fraud(commonly called 419) such as obtaining by false pretence through different fraudulent schemes e.g. contract scam, credit card/ATM card scam, inheritance scam, western union transfer scam, EFCC compensation scam, FBI investigation scam, compensation scam, job scam, loan scam, lottery scam, “wash wash” scam (money washing scam), marriage scam, Immigration scam, counterfeiting and religious scam.

This is to officially announce to you that some scam syndicates were apprehended in Lagos, Nigeria few days ago at western union agent office when they were about to pick up some money sent to them by their scam victims and they were handed over to our Investigation Department, after several interrogations and tortures your name, email address and contact details were among those mentioned by the scam syndicates as a victim of their operations.

After our investigations a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and it was agreed that the sum of sixty thousand US Dollars (US$60,000) should be transferred to you out of the funds that Federal Government of Nigeria has set aside to compensate everyone who have sent money to fraudsters in Nigeria, because your name and contact details were among those mentioned by the scam syndicates.

Right now we are working hand in hand with Western Union and Interpol to track every fraudsters down. The purpose for this is to regain the lost glory of our great country Nigeria and to also show the entire world that this government is highly ready to fight corruption, in 2007 we were rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world and it is never a good title. Do not respond to their e-mails, letters and phone calls any longer they are scammers and you should be very careful to avoid being a victim to fraudsters any longer because they have nothing to offer you but to rip-off what you have worked hard to earn.

Important: Please do not send your email address and password to anybody. Take note of this because there are lots of fraudsters out there claiming to be your email administrator requesting for email address and password. If you have already done that before it is strongly recommended that you change your password immediately or register a new email address.

***Please note that we will NO LONGER be liable for any loss, cost or expense, whatsoever, suffered or incurred by You in connection with the fraudsters. Be warned!

We have deposited your cheque at Western Union Money Transfer agent location EMS Post office Lagos, Nigeria. We have submitted your details to them so that your fund can be transferred to you. We have insured your fund for security reasons and to avoid misappropriation.

Contact the Western Union EMS agent office through the email address stated below inform them about this notification letter and the transfer of your fund;

Yours sincerely,
Maureen Chigozie (Ms)
Internet Crime Complaint Center
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Please note that some fraudsters are claiming to be the Executive Chairman, Chief Mrs. Farida Mzamber Waziri (AIG rtd.) or staff of The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have recently been sending phony e-mails/letters and also calling unsuspecting persons, with intent to defraud them. It is important to note that these fraudsters are criminals engaged in Advanced Fee Fraud known in Nigeria as 419. Every day, people throughout the world are falling victim to scams of one kind or another. But remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam. In the circumstance, we unreservedly advice you to dissociate yourself from all correspondence and transactions entered into based on evidently fraudulent and fictitious claims.

Anti-fraud resources: