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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: "Paul Edwards" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 21:39:07 -0700
Subject: (Response Requested) - 2nd Notification !!

Dear Sir/Madam,

I had sent an eairlier mail to you on this matter without a reply. I am Paul Edwards the credit manager of CommerzBank®.
I want to discuss a proposal about a late family member's Fixed Deposit Account at CommerzBank®.

Please contact me by email or telephone +44 1158 223108 for more information on this.

Mr. Paul D. Edwards
FAX:+44 709-287-8115

Anti-fraud resources: