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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: " wdc" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2013 20:32:05 -0800
Subject: Compliment.....

We the Federal Bureau of Investigation wdc want to inform you that we had wiretap your internet which we came to confirmed that you had a transaction valid the sum of $15,000,000.00 with the Central Bank of Nigeria which has been on pending, and also we confirmed that you are in contact and receiving e-mails from impostors/ fraudsters claiming to be a Governor of a Bank/Company telling you that they have funds for you, please disregard such e-mails that does not come from the bank e-mail address stated below and also disregard emails that does not have your code (CBN/A1960/009), please forward to us any email that does not come from ( and that does not have your payment code (CBN/A1960/009) immediately to help fight against fraudsters.
We also confirmed that some impostors including (Mrs Joan c. Bailey), has tried to claim your funds informing the bank that you are not feeling too well and at the moment you are at the hospital receiving treatment, mind you that this impostors are the people you have disclose your fund transaction to and now they are trying to use the information given to them to claim your funds, we have already instructed the central Bank of Nigeria not to release your funds to them, until they hear from you that you truely authorized them to claim your funds for you.
Note that your funds is still on pending with the Central Bank of Nigeria and they await your respond so that they can proceed with the release of your funds to you. We have concluded an investigation with the transaction and confirmed that it is 100% legit and free from Fraud/Scam so feel free to contact the bank with their direct e-mail address ( only and also you have a code (CBN/A1960/009) which you will use in contacting the bank so that they will know it is you because the impostors claiming to be you does not know your code so the bank disregarded there e-mail. Mind you that this is for security reason and for the safety of your funds release to you.
Also they made us to understand that this lady Mrs, Joan C. Bailey have contacted there office several times claiming that you sent her to help you claim your funds since you are not feeling fine and that you are in the hospital at the moment receiving treatment, we advice you to contact the bank right away with there e-mail address which is ( and your code which is (CBN/A1960/009) and let them know if you truly authorized the lady to claim your funds or let them get back to you on how to claim your funds.
WARNING: Note your code  (CBN/A1960/009 and the bank e-mail address once again ( and the Financial secretary Mr. Sam Banks Direct phone Number (+234-8025039890), any e-mail which you received in regards to any funds transactions that does not come from the above e-mail address should be disregarded and forwarded to us for proper investigation. contact the bank and get back to us with there response for further advice.
We wait to hear from you.
Thank you and God Bless America.
Robert S. Mueller III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.
20535-0001, USA

Anti-fraud resources: