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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: "Clarke Leslie" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 19:01:38 -0700

Sky Trust Bank Group plc
25 Gresham Street London EC2V 7HN.
Dear Sir,
Do accept my apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics, I
want to introduce myself and this business opportunity to you. My name is
Mr.LESLIE CLARKE, a bank accountant.
I wish to know if we can work together,I would like you to stand as the
next of kin to my deceased client who made some deposits to my bank. He
died without any registered next of kin and as such the funds now have an
open beneficiary mandate.
If you are interested you do let me know so that I can give you
Comprehensive details on what we are to do.
I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.Please Reply back
with this email below PRIVATE EMAIL:(
Best regards,
Clarke Leslie.
DIRECT LINE:+44 704 574 0441
FAX:+ 44 700 598 1031

Anti-fraud resources: