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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. A. K. Ignatius." <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 3:17:01 +0900
Subject: Your attention please,

Your attention please,

Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics. I will introduce myself; I am A. K. Ignatius son of former Diamond Broker Mr. Richard. Ignatius I am kindly seeking your urgent assistance to stand as a foreign partner, beneficiary to the sum of Eighteen million Two hundred and Fifty thousand United States Dollars (US$18,250,000.00) which represent the share of a Business deal my late father signed with a company. Please contact me for more information, the deal is 100% legal. I can only transfer this money with the help of a foreign partner hence my contacting you, I look forward to hearing from you soon for proceeding.

Kind Regards,

I await your reply.

Yours truly,

Mr. A. K. Ignatius.

Anti-fraud resources: