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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: "Felix E.Brown" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 08:32:52 +0100
Subject: GREETING!!!

I am Major Felix  E. Brown, I am a Canadian soldier attached to the UN peace keeping force in Cote d'ivoire in west Africa, I am the  As you may know this country has been devided into two by the rebel and government forces loyal to the incumbent president who has refused to step down for the acclaimed winner of the recently UN conducted election, you can have a brief information about situation in this country here on BBC:
I am contacting you because I managed to move funds belonging to a demised local gold and dimond minner who was attacked and killed with his entire family by the incumbent president forces accusing him of helping the UN who is protecting the acclaimed winner.
The only surviving son of the minner is in poccession of a deposit totaling amount of US$4.4Million dollars in cash his father deposited with a private security company in a neighbouring country. He want to move this money to any honest person oversea for investment, so that he may keep his share for him until when he come over to meet him.
I am sending you this mail because he entrust me to solicit someone responsible to help him contact the security company by his introduction of you as his beneficiary to receive his inherited deposit.
He will take 70%, you take 25% and the remaining 5% will be used  to defray any expenses encounter during the transaction. No strings attached, just help him move it out. I am planning to use Diplomatic courier services to convey the funds out in large metallic box with the aid of UN diplomatic immunity.
If you are interested in the business do get back to me via email but and I will send you follow up informations; whereby you are not, please do disregard the mail.  
This business is risk free. The box can be shipped out within 48hrs to your door step.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks and God bless you.
Major F. E. Brown

Anti-fraud resources: