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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:

Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 01:28:48 +0300 (EAT)


>From the records of outstanding contractors due for payment with the
federal government of Nigeria.Your name and company was discovered as
next on the list of the outstanding contractors who have not received their
payments.I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and
will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also
note that from my records your outstanding contract payment is US$8.5
Million Dollars.Please re-confirm to me if this is inline with what you
have in your records and also re-confirm to me the following.

1) Your full name.
2) Telephone and fax number, if possible include you mobile telephone number.
3) Company name,position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.

As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made to you
in a certified bank draft and a copy will be given to you to take to your
bank for confirmation.Please get back to me via this above email address.

Best regards,


Anti-fraud resources: