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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: "Mr.Marcus" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:27:12 -0800 (PST)

From Mathew Douglas


I am Mathew Douglas, Financial Expert worked with Standard Chartered Bank here in United Kingdom, I have a project deal in the tune of £21,254,000.00 {Twenty One Million Two Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand British Pounds Sterling} to be transferred to any possible safe account with your good assistance. I have every possibility & advantages for the proceeds of this fund to be paid to your account.

During our last season pre-audition, I was officially appointed to our affiliate bank in Accra Ghana West Africa to supervise the auditing as an expatriate, then I discovered a dormant account that lastly operated in 2nd march 2001, and then discussed this issue privately with the foriegn operational manager Accra and he agreed to move the fund abroad and have instructed me to look for a foreigner who can be trusted and capable to handle this fund so that we can secretly move this money out from Accra immediately basing on Investments plans in your Country.

Your assistance as a foreigner is necessary because the management of the bank will welcome any foreigner who has correct information to this account which I will give to you immediately. This money was secretly deposited and placed for an Investment before the late holder died and none of his families or relatives knows about this money, I came across this great fortune during an annual pre-audition. If you can be trusted and capable to handle this business with me in full confidence & trust, please send me the following information to start processing the transfer in your favour as the foreign beneficiary. (1) Bank Name (2) Bank Address (3) account Number (4) Swift Code Or Routing Number.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,
Mr. Mathew Douglas,

Anti-fraud resources: