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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: chow li wai <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 20:55:50 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dear Friend,I am Mr. Li Chow Wai, Credit Officer Bank Of East Asia (BEA) Hong Kong. I have a sincere and very confidential business proposition for youOn October 6th 1999, a British Consultant / Contractor with the ChineseMinistry of Agriculture, Mr. David Woodbin made a (Fixed) Deposit forTwelve calendar months, valued at US$43,600,000.00 (Forty Three Million six Hundred United State Dollars only) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply

- chow li wai

Anti-fraud resources: