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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: "DEPT OFFIC" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 15:54:15 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,

I'm tired of keeping your ($1,5M) Dollars Certified Bank CHEQUE in my
office. I have deposited the ($1,5M) Certified Bank Cheque with Dhl office
here in Benin Republic, because am traveling to Paraguay this night for
urgent massage and will not come back till next four month, for this rising
I can't keep the cheque any more.

Contact the Dhl office in Benin on this email: ( )
with your full delivery address and phone number for easy delivery of your
($1,5M) United State Dollars Certified Bank Cheque.

I wish you Good Luck as you contact them through this email address:

(Mr. Cole)

Anti-fraud resources: