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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: "DR. ALBERT MICHAEL" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:58:50 -0700
Subject: To Safe Account/Next-of-Kin

I am Dr. Albert Michael a Banker of one of the top banks. I am conducting a standard process investigation over his account balance with our bank. This investigation involves a client and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client with our Bank. My client died and nominated no successor in title, If you are interested, kindly get back to me for more details about our deceased client and how we can remit the fund to your account. On the receipt of the fund in your bank account, both of us will share the fund accordingly.

Dr. Albert Michael

Anti-fraud resources: