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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: "Karl" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:43:54 -0700
Subject: Can you handle this project?


I am sorry for contacting you without a prior knowledge of your person. This as you may wish to know is due to my dire and urgent need for an investment partner.

I am willingness to invest the sum of Twenty Five Million United States Dollars (US$25 million) in your country.

If you can handle this pending my meeting with you, kindly forward your following details to me for documentation and the fund transfer.

Your full names and address
Your direct telephone number
A trusted bank account into which the fund will be LEGALLY transferred into.


Karl Schmidt

Anti-fraud resources: