fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Martin Robert Byrnes <>
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2011 08:11:58 +0800
Subject: Re:Business Proposal

Hello Friend,
It is my pleasure to write you through this medium, My name is Martin= Robert Byrnes; I am an
American, 50 years old and a retired Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5)= in U.S. Central Command's
Headquarter in Iraq. I was a Special Forces Warrant Officer (CMF 18 M= OS) as an Intelligence Analyst
under the led Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) under the leade= rship of McChrystal from 2003 to
2008 in Iraq that captured Saddam Hussein in 2003. In 2006 I was part= of the McChrystal=92s Zarqawi
unit (Task Force 6-26) that was responsible for the death of Abu Musa= b Al-Zarqawi leader of Al-Qaeda
in Iraq.  In 2008 I was made the Financial Management Technician= under General David Petraeus then by
the end of 2009, I and my colleagues were accused of embezzling 300mi= llion US dollars that was met
for Military personnel in Iraq. I was asked to retire and was court m= artial. I was given parole after
President Obama took over the leadership of the United States, though= still under
I gave a brief description of myself to you so that you know what I a= m about to discuss with you must
be kept confidential. I want you to assist me in receiving funds whic= h I got while serving as
Financial Management Technician.I have these funds 24.430 million us = dollars deposited with the
United Nations somewhere in the Middle East (country name withheld) w= hich I want you to receive on my
behalf from the United Nations. I have not been able to claim it beca= use I have be band for 10 year
not to leave the shores of America. I am under parole so I am still b= eing watched on everything I do.
I am contacting you to assist me in receiving the funds and I am will= ing to offer you 25% of the
total sum for your assistance while the balance will be transferred t= o my bank which I will give you
the name. Instructions on how the funds can be transferred to my acco= unt will be made to you by my
bank.I will explain more to you on how we can achieve this once you a= re interested. Let me know if we
can work together on this transaction.
I await your swift reply. =
Martin Robert Byrnes

Anti-fraud resources: