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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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Fraud email example:

From: "Mr. Robert Barris" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 19:11:55 +0000
Subject: Re: Have you Gone there for the Correction?

How far?.Have you resend the Money.Please i have just few hours to suit my
wife so that she wount divorse me.Lew,you may help me mail my wife too and
explain to her well okay.

>To: "Mr. Robert Barris" <>
>Subject: Re: Have you Gone there for the Correction?
>Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 12:16:10 +0900
>Dear Mr. Barris,
>I hope you and Jerry had a Merry Christmas.
>I went back to the Western Union office to sort out the problem we're
>having. Apparently the payment of $4,160 was cancelled because Western
>Union did not have the necessary security validation forms on file
>from the recipient (i.e. Mr Dada). I have been given these forms and
>will forward them Mr Dada.
>Mr Dada, you need to print them out, fill them in, scan them and email
>them back to me so I can submit them to the Western Union office when
>I resend the money. Please proceed quickly so that Jerry doesn't have
>to wait much longer.
>Your sincerely
>On 12/23/05, Mr. Robert Barris <> wrote:

Anti-fraud resources: