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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.Anderson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 18:17:25 +0200
Subject: Business Inquiry.??

From:Mr.Anderson Maco
Po Box 1176 Cotonou 05
Rue Lagunaire
Can you invest/safeguard funds amounting to Eight million,Two Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds 8.2 Million GBP) which will be under your control in your country.
The details of the transaction and fund will be communicated to you when you indicate interest and willingness to assist in this business venture.
If you are serious and willing to do this business,kindly get back to me to verify your capability to handle this business:
Investment Area, Real Estate.and an others lucrative Area..
If you can not do this business, kindly discard or disregard the mail.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Kind regards,
Mr.Anderson Maco

Anti-fraud resources: