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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: "HSBC Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 14:52:56 +0200
Subject: HSBC Internet Banking Security

Online Banking Security

Dear Customer,

Your Internet Banking security number was entered incorrectly more than 3 times.

For the protection of your account we have suspended access to it.

Previous notifications have been sent.

To restore access please Log on correctly.

Thank you for choosing  HSBC bank .

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.

Anti-fraud resources: