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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: "John Peters" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 12:46:46 +0100

Dear Client
The good news here is that the bank has agreed to pay the total sum of
$5.5 m through ATM payment method to avoid any further 10% non
residential tax by the Government Please contact the head of the atm
department of Intermediary bank through the below for the payment
immediately for requirements and how to receive your card
Contact Person: Mr. Harrison Walker
Head of ATM Departments ( London Uk)
TEL.......+44 7035976188
TEL/FAX...+44 7035979497
with the following information
1.Your Name/Mailing Address
2.Your Phone/Occupation
Thank you
Yours Faithfully
John Peters

Anti-fraud resources: