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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: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:14:33 +0100
Subject: Hurry Up!

This to inform you that We have sent 300,000.00 USD already, that was given to you by the United Nations, (ECOWAS) as we are mandated to send you the total sum of 300,000 USD through Western Union. send name, address, phone number. Processing your first payment of $5,000 USD. To collect / Sender: Bill Smith MTCN NUMBER: 7200274726 Amount;=5,000 USD TEXT QUESTION : HOW LONG? ANSWER : 24 HOURS

Frank Amos
TEL: 234-8054 458 969

Anti-fraud resources: