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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: Citi Bank London <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:13:00 +0000 (UTC)

Promenade Level, Cabot Place East,
Canary Wharf, London, E144QS.
Tel: +44-770-002-8258

Dear Valued Customer,

                                  REF: - INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE SUM OF (US$10,500,000.00)

This is to notify you about this said fund.

After due vetting and evaluation of your file that was sent to us by the Nigeria Government in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This bank has an instruction to see to the immediate release of the sum of Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only (us$10.5Million) of your Inheritance fund claim that has been holding since is transferred into your bank Account from their Domiciliary Account with this Bank.

We are made to understand from our findings that you have been going through hard ways by passing through difficulties to see to the release of your Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only (us$10.5Million), which has been delayed as result of sabotage by some miscreant elements from that Country.

The only thing required from you is to obtain NON-RESIDENT CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE, which we are not asking you to pay the fee to us here in United Kingdom as the Nigeria Government have taken care of the transfer handling/processing of your payment with other Customers. We will help you to see that you obtain the mandatory Certificate from the appropriate quarters, to enable us credit your account directly via telegraphic transfer or through any of our corresponding banks and send copies of the funds transfer release documents to you and your bankers for confirmation.

For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any correspondence from anywhere concerning your funds, because you don't have to pass through any difficult to receive your fund, as you have met up with the whole requirements.

We know that your representatives in Nigeria or anywhere will advise you to still go ahead with them, which will be at your own risk.

Your Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only (us$10.5Million) will reflect into your designated Bank Account within three (3) Bank working days from the day you obtain this Non-Resident Clearance Certificate.

We also advise you not to go through anybody again but only through this Bank if you really want your fund.

Finally, you are advice to re-confirm your below information to our Telegraphic Transfer Dept with the below email address in other to avoid wrong transfer of your fund and also for easy communication: ( )

Your Full Name:...........
Your Contact Address:.........
Private Telephone:..............

Once again, you are advice to direct your respond to our Telegraphic Transfer Dept with the above email address.

Please, accept my apology if you receive this letter in your spam email is due to recent connection error here in England

Your urgent compliance will facilitate the transfer of your funds.

Congratulation to your inheritance fund.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Edward Hartford.
Senior Accounts Officer,
International Banking Unit, Citibank UK.

Anti-fraud resources: