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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: "Denis" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 23:20:55 +0200


My name is Prince Denis. I need an entrepreneur who has great business initiatives to partner
with me in a multimillion dollar business. I was set up and jailed because of my late father’s belongings.
I am now out of jail and seek a partner to help retrieve my late father’s belongings.
I have all documents for claim and need financial assistance to retrieve my funds to enable me invest them.
I have big quantity of gold deposited with a storage company in Europe, If you can get a buyer,
then we can sell the gold at a giveaway price to finance my financial business.
Respond only if you are interested to proceed with me. Include your direct phone number as you reply.
Yours sincerely,
Prince Denis
+229 98221038

Anti-fraud resources: