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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: "Ms. Maria Omar Shatwan" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 03:40:06 +0700 (WIT)
Subject: Investment

Good day,

You may be surprised to receive this letter from me since you do not know
me personally; I am Mrs. Maria Omar Shatwan, the wife of Late Dr. Omar
Fathi Bin Shatwan who was murdered in the Rebel dispute during Lt Col.
Muammar Gadaffi dictatorship.

I am contacting you in confidence and as a means of developing a cordial
and fruitful business relationship with you. I am interested in a long
term investment in your country.

I will provide you with more details of what i have in mind as soon as you
reply to my email.

Best Regards,

Ms. Maria Omar Shatwan

Anti-fraud resources: