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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: "Barrister Rafael Cooper." <>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 18:36:04 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Sequel To Your Non Response Of Our Earlier Letter?

Good Day,i sent you an email before now on behalf of my our Late client Mrs. Lolita
Yakov. I wish to notify you that you were listed as a heir to the sum of $10,300,000
(Ten Million, three hundred thousand US dollars) from my late Mrs. Lolita Yakov.

We therefore reckoned that you can receive this funds as you are qualified by your
name identity. We request that you kindly forward to us your immediate response.

To enable us get back to you with the needed document to back up this transaction.

Barrister Rafael Cooper

Anti-fraud resources: