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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: "Western Union" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 13:10:13 +0100
Subject: Payment from Western Union

How are you today?

I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5000.00USD dollars through Western union
as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment of $800,000.00USD
via western union Money Transfer by United Nations.

Here is the western union information to pick up the USD5000.00,

MTCN : 622 155 4897
Sender's Name:Mrs.Helene Bath
Question: Honest
Amount: $5000.00USD

I am waiting for your email once you pick up $5000.00USD,

Mr Kalu Umar

Anti-fraud resources: