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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: "William J. Burns" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2022 12:12:23 -0500
Subject: From Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20505
Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday to Saturday:
Direct Cell Phone: +1-567-259-6890
Direct Email Address:
Attention: ,
Regarding your response and I want you to understand that we the CIA has monitor your transaction and if you are ready to work with us, kindly resend us your full details to enable us finalize your transaction and have the $8.5USD into your bank can also visit our website visit : William _J_Burns. We are fully ready to back you up so that the fund can successfully transferred into your bank account, this is all what we required from you to get your payment worth of $8.5 Million United States Dollars release to you ASAP.
To avoid further delay and furtherance to payment notification order (RELEASE#XX-YBF). I wish to inform you having programmed your funds via our Swift Wire Transfer Diskette System (SWTDS) and having carried out our investigation viz-viz. It is imperative you re-send immediately your personal information and account information to avoid error on transmission, quoting the above payment notification order to enable us to release your funds into your account being the only official bank authorized.
1) Your full Name:__________
2) Your full Address:______________
3) Your Contact Telephone and Fax No:___________
3) Your Profession, Age and Marital Status:
4) Any valid form of your Identification/Driven License:__________
5) Bank Name:__________
6) Bank Address:___________
7) Account Name:___________
8) Account Number:___________
9) Routing Number:___________
Reconfirm your direct number the one in our data base does not seem to be going,I have assigned an agent to work with directly and ensure you receive this funds.
Yours sincerely,
William J. Burns
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Office of Public Affairs

Anti-fraud resources: