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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: Vivian Salem <>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 13:23:57 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Dear Good Friend

Dear Good Friend
It is indeed my pleasure to write you this letter, which I believe will be
a surprise to you as we have never met before, and I am deeply sorry if I
have in any manner disturbed your privacy. Please forgive this unusual
manner of contacting you, but this particular letter is of exceptional and
very private nature. There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and
distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact
that, so many individuals have taken possession of the Internet to
facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult
for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and
recognition. There is no way for me to know whether I will be properly
understood, but it is my duty to write and reach out to you.
My name is Mrs.Vivian Salem, wife of late Salem Nasim in Iraq, some years
ago, I lost my husband Nasim and three children -Husam, 15 years old,
Wasim, 12 years old and Merna, 6years old, this Happened when a Combatant
Military Tank shelled our car as my family attempted to flee heavy
fighting in Baghdad, View the Website below for detail Story of how I lost
my family .
Before my husband and my Children was killed, he Deposited the sum of
$29.5 million ( Twenty nine Million five hundred thousand Dollars ) with a
Security & Finance company in Europe. I had contacted a Diplomat who was
attached to the United Nation Peace keeping forces in Europe and had
assured me of assisting me to move the Boxes through Diplomatic Cargo,ONLY
if I had a PARTNER to receive it on my behalf .
All I need from you is to receive the Fund as my husband business
Associates and Invest the fund into any Lucrative Investment in your
country.I will remunerate you with 30 % at the end,but most of all is that
I solicit your trust in this transaction and will not want you to betray
me at the end Please in your reply, include your Mobile number ,Home
telephone number and your residential or company address for easy
Thank you,
Mrs.Vivian Salem

Anti-fraud resources: