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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: "paul akachawa" <>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 12:36:25 -0700 (PDT)

Hello .
It’s a pleasure to inform you that I have make a solid arrangements with
the Zenith Bank Benin this morning to convert your total sum of $2.5m Usd
into ATM MASTER CARD which you can withdraw at any of the ATM Machine very
close to your location over there in your country. However the bank
Manager called me on phone that I have finish the conversion. I asked the
Bank Manager to assist you to send it to your designated address the
moment you contact him, Below is the bank contacts,
Bank Address
Telephone +229-9673 8615
Contact Person Mr. Charles Bekko

I will be very glad to hear from you the moment you have received the ATM
Master Card to your home address.
My Regards.
Mr. Wasabe Dude

Anti-fraud resources: