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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" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 14:03:13 +0800
Subject: Compensation Payment Alert

Dear sir/madam,
On behalf of the International Monetary Fund/United Nation/ ECOWAS , I once
again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I
hereby attempt to reachyou again by this same email address on the Beneficiary.
if you get this one, I write to inform you that this is our last and final mail
to you regarding this payment. we have already sent you $5000.00 USD dollars
through our Western Union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full
compensation payment of $300,000.00 USD via Western Union by this government.
So,I decided to email you the MTCN and sender name, so you can pick up this
$5000.00 USD to enable us send another $5000.00 USD by tomorrow as you
know we will be sending you only $5000.00 USD per day. Please do let us know
if you have pick up this payment now.

Sender's First Name: LAWRENCE CHIBUZO
Sender's Second Name: ANIEGBOKO
Address: Abuja, Nigeria
Test Question: Pay
Test Answer: Cash
MTCN: 2012511731
Amount: $5000 USD

Contact our Finance Director of Western Union Money Transfer Corporate
Headquarters Mr. Fredrick Collins via emails contact below.

NAME: Mr. Fredrick Collins { Finance Director ]
TEL: +234-705-205-5889

Thank you for using Western Union.

Mr. David Geoger.

Anti-fraud resources: