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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: "MARK" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:10:39 +0200
Subject: Reply Urgently +27 839470181

I am Mr.Mark Marshall an auditor with ABSA Bank of South Africa,I have a mutual Business Transaction to do with you.I am writing in respect of a foreign customer of my bank whose name is Mr. Andreas Schranner Deposited US$25.5M a citizen of Germany who perished in a plane crash [Concorde Air Flight AF4590] with the whole passengers aboard on 31 July 2000. I will give you 40% as soon as we transfer the money into your account in your country. And for your perusal you can view this web site: Mark Marshall. +27 839470181

Anti-fraud resources: