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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: United Nations Foundation <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 17:02:39 +0200
Subject: UN Financial Grant.

United Nations Foundation
Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036


UN Foundation Grant.

This is to notify you that you have been chosen by the board of Trustees of the UN Foundation as one of the final recipients of a Cash Grant/Donation of One Hundred Thousand US Dollars for your personal development.

Do contact the Executive Secretary of The BEC Foundation with the details below for documentation and release of your cash aid, your Qualification number is (UNI/BEC-816-1119G-987-94) Barrister Ian Bond

Email: Phone: +44 703 594 4099

Elizabeth Alexander (Unit Coordinator).

Anti-fraud resources: