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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: "Barrister Mark Duke" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 15:47:26 -0700
Subject: Greetings/Letter From Mark Duke Esq.


I am Barrister Mark Duke.I am reaching out to you as regards the handling of an investment portfolio.

I am soliciting your assistance in repatriating the funds and property left behind by my late client before it is confiscated by the government and declared unserviceable by the bank where the huge deposit is lodged.

My Client died intestate and every attempt to trace any member of his family has proved unsuccessful and abortive. Do note that your identity or country of origin does not matter.

I will give you more information upon your response. You should respond by sending the following:

1. Your full names

2. Tel & fax numbers

3. Complete Address

4.Your occupation and your Age

If Interested Please Reply me Via my

I humbly look forward to your soonest response.

Yours Faithfully,
Barrister Mark Duke.
London, U.K

Anti-fraud resources: