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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:

Date: Sun, 15 May 2011 21:04:50 +0900 (JST)


After proper and several investigations and research at Western Union and
MoneyGram Office, we found your name in Western Union database amongst
those that have sent money through Western Union to Benin Republic and
this proves that you have truly been swindled by those unscrupulous
persons by sending money to them through Western Union/MoneyGram in the
course of getting one fund or the other that is not real, right now we are
working hand in hand with Western Union to track every fraudsters down, do
not respond to their e-mails, letters and phone calls any longer as 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 earnestly hard to earn.

In this regard a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of The
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside with the
Ministry of Finance - Benin Republic and as a consequence of our
investigations it was agreed that the sum of sixty thousand US Dollars
(US$60,000.00) should be transferred to you out of the funds that Federal
Government of Nigeria has set aside as a compensation to everyone who have
by one way or the other sent money to fraudsters in Benin Republic.

***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

Be warned! We have deposited your fund at Western Union Money Transfer
agent location EMS Post office Portonovoh, Benin Republic.

We have submitted your details to them so that your fund can be
transferred to you. We have paid the Registration and Transfer fees and
for security reasons we have also insured your fund to avoid

Contact the Western Union agent office through any of the email addresses
stated below;

Contact Person: Harry Williams
Contact Email :
Contact Phone : +229-9808 6415

Yours sincerely,
James Dobson,
Investigation Officer.

Anti-fraud resources: