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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: "OLU" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 11:46:08 -0700
Subject: HOPE

I am the chairman of the contract awarding committee, federal ministry of petroleum resources, Nigeria I am in search of an agent to assist us in the transfer of (US$50,4m FIFTY MILLION, FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS.And subsequent investment in properties in your will be required to:
(1) Assist in the transfer of the said sum
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment
(3) Assist us in purchase of properties.
If you decide to  render your service to us in this regard,20% of the total sum will be offered   to you.Please reply as soon as possible.
Best Regards
Chairman Contract Awarding Committee

Anti-fraud resources: