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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: "josef martin" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 16:10:47 +0800

Dear Sir/ Madam,

My name is Josef Martin (Mr). I work for Royal Dutch Shell Plc. I am seeking for your cooperation in
investing the sum of USD8.5M (Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand) in a production company ,
Tourist Hotel , Real Estate or any profitable investment.I need an experienced and honest person to
assist me to set up, develop the investment project and assume responsibility of ownership as chairman,
but will be bringing in profit /distribute profit quarterly or annually, if you are interested I need your i
mmediate reply, which will be highly appreciated and I shall give you more information and further details
on this project, upon receiving your response. Attached is an investment agreement for your review.
Please ensure that your response is sent to, or


Engr. Josef Martin
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This transmission contains confidential
The information is private and intended only for the use of the
recipient whose email appears above. If the reader of this email is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this document is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, OR you are not interested in this proposal at this time please immediately Delete same.

Anti-fraud resources: