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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: "Financial Crimes Enforcement Network" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 21:59:50 +1000
Subject: To your Attention Beneficiary (Official Notification)

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN), Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes informations about financial transactions.

To your Attention Beneficiary

This is to kindly notify your esteemed self on our recent network approach in cooperation with the international regulatory in some of the banks in Europe, Africa and Asia owning to various complains/petitions on delays of funds transfers by some of the banks mostly in West Africa regions due to administrative protocols and transfer handlings by bank officers.

We are contacting you on this new development because your particulars and account information was revealed in the bank central computer data as one of the lawful foreign benefactor of an outstanding unpaid contract/inheritance funds valued at the sum of Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($3,500,000.00 USD). for security measures in order to secure fund from lost and avert any future transfer/payment delays such as those ugly experience you got your self-involved in the past years with representatives and some ghost bank officials in Africa. You are instructed to Re confirm your details, as a way of confirming your details, And to further complete the processing of your funds to your nominated bank account, The aforementioned fund above is currently deposited with our United States Federation Network accounts

Upon your completion,You are to comply immediately so that the bank will process the transfer of payment into your nominated bank account as soon as possible.
kindly acknowledge receipt of this e-mail by reconfirming your personal details for other documentation purpose.

Your Full Name:
Your Complete Address:
Name of City of Residence:
Direct Telephone Number:
Mobile Number:


Officially Signed,

Jamal El-Hindi
Associate Director, Regulatory Policy and Programs Division
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

Anti-fraud resources: