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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: "Bruce Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 21:39:20 -0600
Subject: Hi


I have an interest to invest in your country.

I got your contact from the web while in search of an agent to assist in the Handling of $45 million USD and subsequent investment in lucrative areas in your country.
As a civil servant i am not allowed to handle such an amount as our code of conduct bureau forbids it.

If you decide to render your services, kindly reply and consent to your continued interest.
Upon your consent we would discuss in details my proposal.

Yours Faithfully,

Bruce Smith

Anti-fraud resources: