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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: "2009 CASH GRANT DONATION" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 11:16:14 +0200
Subject: Dear Beneficary,,

Dear Beneficary

This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the Board of trustees of the above International charity organization based in the Netherlands as one of the final recipients of a Cash Grant/Donation for your own personal, education and business development.

Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers (N-882-1237, N-900-16) in all discussions.

Executive Secretary,
Mr. Van Nelson
Tel: +31-643-862-769

You will provide him with the following information:

First name:
Last Name:
Telephone/Fax number:

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs. Hilda Williams

Anti-fraud resources: