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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: "Nicodemus Onye" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 01:32:34 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: Western union department ;


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 Nigeria 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) and as a consequence of our
investigations it was agreed that the sum of six Hundred Thousand US Dollars
(US$600,000.00) 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 Nigeria.

***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 Lagos, Nigeria.
We have submitted your details to them so that your fund can be transferred
to you. We have insured your fund to avoid misappropriation.

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

Yours sincerely,

Nicodemus Onye
Investigation Officer.

Please note that e-mails, letters and phone calls are currently been made to
unsuspecting persons by fraudsters claiming to have access to their funds.
Everyday, people throughout the world are falling victim to scams of one way
or the other. It could be an unexpected prize draw or lottery win, or a
chance to invest in an exciting new money-making or investment programm . 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: