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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: "Ms. Valerie Amos (UN)" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 01:57:47 -0700

Our Ref: WB/NF/UNCC/KB027.

Attention: Sir/Madam,


This is to bring to your notice that during the last annual calculations carried by the UN from Banks across the UK, ASIA & AFRICA and AMERICA, Billions of unsettled debts were found floating in accounts in various banks owed to various Contractors & Individuals from different part of the world. Your name was found on the list of those whose contract/Inheritance was not paid out to due to corrupt officials and problems arising from government e.t.c.

The United Nations/World bank Organization have agreed in a meeting held recently that a compensation in the amount of US$1,000,000.00 should be paid out each to individuals who E-mail address were drawn automatically through an email ballot machine system at this year ongoing compensation program. Your E-mail Address was selected and that is why you have received this mail to notify you as a beneficiary entitled to the above mentioned payment. This compensation scheme was set up by the United Nations in a bid to compensate people who might have been scammed or had business transactions which failed in the past due to one problem or the other.

Be informed that this funds will be paid out to you via issuance of an ATM Debit Card which will be credited with your funds and then dispatched to your address. Meanwhile, PIN number will be made available to you by the paying bank once you have receive your card.

To immediately redeem your payment, you are hereby advised to contact the paying Institute in Africa (Zenith Bank Plc) which is responsible to pay out these funds to you at the below address:

Bank Name: Zenith Bank Plc

Person To Contact: Mr. John Ferguson


Telephone: +234 703 557 8881.

You are to send your information as listed below to the Zenith bank for them to have to process your payment in your name and deliver your card to where you live.

The information you are to send to the above named bank is as follow:

1. Your Full Name :
2. Your Home/Mobile Telephone No:
3. Your Home or Office Address :
4. Age/Occupation/Marital Status:
5. Scanned copy of your identification:

Thanks for your patience, and do contact us in the near future when you have successfully received your payment.


Ms. Valerie Amos.
United Nations Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs,
Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Anti-fraud resources: