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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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 00:11:44 -0800
Subject: GOOD DAY

Shelburne Chambers
Tariro House, 40-41,
Newington Green,
London, N16 9PR
Dear Friend,

I know we have not met in person but I have a very profiting proposal
which I am sure you can handle. My name is Williams Edward QC. I am a
Barrister and a member of the Queen's Counsel (QC) working with the
reputable legal firm - Crown Office Chambers in London-UK and I am
only contacting you to help claim deposited funds made by one of our
clients who was involved in a fatal auto crash which killed him and
his entire family in 2003.

View the attached file and get back to me immediately,
Barr.Williams Edward QC

Anti-fraud resources: