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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: "MR.FRANK WILLIAMS" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 03:23:09 -0700

Attention: ,
We are in receipt of your email, we wish to warn you against some miscreants, hoodlums and touts who go about scamming innocent people by claiming to be who they are not.
We the British Government in collaboration with the American government had an agreement with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to coordinate and compensation all the foreigners that has been scammed all over the world.
We have finalized and concluded that any victim that lost his or her hard earn money are going to be compensated with the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One Million dollars) each and you have been approved for this fund.
Furthermore you are advised to inform this office what mode of payment is suitable for you as we effect only two modes of payment which has its different requirements and fees.
We apologize on behalf of the British Prime Minister and the people of world for any inconveniences  and lost this must have coursed you in any way and promise that such thing will not occur again in the future and should incase you are currently dealing with any one of them regarding your fund, we urge you to stop further contact with them as you are taking a very big risk and if it might interest you to know, that you will never get your fund from them, as they have nothing to offer.
The hoodlums will continue coming up with expenses and thereby requesting for money from you until you go Bankrupt.
Finally, we are expecting to hear from you today unfailingly informing us on what mode of payment is suitable for you so as to enable us forward your information to the Bank of Bank of Amaerica for immediate releasing of your compensation to you.
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation and understanding
While we wait for your urgent response to this Email.
Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Frank Williams

Anti-fraud resources: