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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: "U.S Treasury Department." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:35:21 -0000
Subject: Re: 2013 Government Approved Funds..

Good Day.

My name is Jack Lew. the Secretary of the Treasury Department which is an
Executive arm of Government responsible for the promotion of economic welfare
and stability with the sole purpose of ensuring the financial security of every
American Citizen, However by virtue of my new position as the Secretary of the
Treasury Department under President Obama's administration I have irrevocably
instructed the IRS accounts department and the Federal Reserve Bank to approve
and release your tax refunds via Telex Wire Transfer into any of your nominated
bank account or via a Prepaid Debit Visa Card how ever the Federal Reserve Bank
which is the authorized bank for the release of your tax refunds within 3 working
days if all verification of your identity has been clarified your funds would be
remitted in your nominated bank account.

Await a response from you ASAP as to this effect.


Mr Jack Lew.

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington,D.C.20220 USA.

Anti-fraud resources: