fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Elaine Elliott" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 00:11:22 +0930
Subject: Without Prejudice:

Hello dear,
My name is Elaine Elliott I am 62 years old, I got your contact from America Online directory and picked you randomly for this project. I wish you and your family a happy peaceful prosperous New Year.
I am a dying woman who has decided to donate what I have to you for charity/ motherless babies/less privileged especially in Somalia , Malawi and other poor African countries. I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for good work of God. I have asked God to forgive me and believe he has because he is a merciful God. I have less than two weeks to live.
I decided to WILL/donate the sum of US$9.7 Million Dollars to you for the good work of God, and also to help the motherless and less privilege people in that part of the world . At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now due to the fact that my relatives (That have squandered the funds I gave them for this purpose before) are around me and my health status also.
My lawyer is aware of the fact that I will adjust my WILL as soon as you get back to me with your name and address, telephone and fax number, I will forward the deposit Certificate to you so that you can contact the Security Company where the $9.7M is deposited in safe, sealed Box and instruct them to immediately move the deposit to your address, bank or which ever way you deem appropriate to receive the deposit. The company is not aware of the content of the deposit as I tagged it personal effects for export for security reasons.
I will inform them I have willed (the trunk Box) to you so you will have full access to them with the deposit reference number:
All I ask of you is to make sure that you use this money for the work of God and service to humanity. I know I don't know you but I have been directed to do this by God. I wish you all the best and may the good God bless you abundantly as you work toward this humanitarian mission.
Respond immediately and I will give you details to open up communication with the company.Please do not treat this message as spam as I cannot be more serious!
Thanks and God bless.
Elaine Elliott
Fax: +44-7005-942-560

Anti-fraud resources: