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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: Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:36:34 -0700

Dear Friend,
Good day and compliments, I know this letter will definitely come to you a=
s a surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully=
as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and=
continued existence.Please allow me to introduce myself.I am CAPTAIN GREG,=
in 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment unit here that Patrols the helmand=
province, Afghanistan. I am desperately in need of assistance and I have s=
ummoned up courage to contact you.
I am presently in Afghanistan and I found your contact particulars in an a=
ddress journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $25m (T=
wenty five Million United States Dollars) to you,as far as I can be assure=
d that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here. This =
is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
Some money in US DOLLARS was discovered and concealed in barrels at a locat=
ion in helman province when we conducted a foot patrol and it was agreed by=
all party present that the money be shared amongst us.This might appear as=
an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up fo=
r the risks we have taken with our lives in this hellhole.The above figure =
was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a prob=
lem for me, so with the help of a Canadian contact working with the UN here=
(his office enjoys some immunity) I was able to get the package out to a s=
afe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real conten=
ts of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in=
an air raid, who before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to h=
is close relative.
I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Afghanistan f=
or you to pick up. I do not know how long I will remain here, as I have be=
en lucky to survive 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention. Thi=
s and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out fo=
r help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavor to contact me immed=
iately and we would work out the necessary formalities but I pray that you =
are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship.
Please reply to
Captain Greg,
United States Soldier:Afghanistan

Anti-fraud resources: