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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: Western Union Money Transfer <>
Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 13:39:33 +0100
Subject: Attention


We have sent 5000.00 USD already through western union, as we are mandated to transfer you the total sum of $300,000USD through Western Union by the Government of United Nations,(ECOWAS) the united nations are supporting individial due to the worldwide economy meltdown , so your email was picked amoung other 100 people in this year 2010, send Name, address, phone number,we have Process your first payment of $ 5,000 USD. to collect / Sender: Mohammed Alam MTCN 0045987017 Go to western union and pick up the $5000, and call to inform me so that i can send another $5000 because, western union can only send $5000 per day, you can track @ before going to their office for confirmation.

Regards Mr. Ken Derrick
Phone: +234-805 731 2093
Contact Email:

Anti-fraud resources: