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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: "Western Union Money Transfer" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 04:25:53 +0600

We wish to inform you that We have sent $5000.00USD already ,that was
given to you by the United Nations,(ECO WAS)as we are to send to you a
total of $300,000 through western union, the money is available right
now, It will be release for pick up when you reply,send name,
address,phone number.Processing your first payment Sender:First Name
Emmanuel Turner Mtcn 0102358290 Mr Ken Derrick:+234-80 5847 1365

Anti-fraud resources: