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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: Frank Bidu <>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:11:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Greetings.

Good Day,

I am Frank Bidu, a solicitor at law. Am the personal attorney/sole executor to a national of your country, hereinafter referred to as 'my client' who died 2001 in a car crash with his immediate family in east London.

He left a deposit of (£9.8millionGBP) your consent is needed to present you as the next of kin since you have same last name, I have documents that would confer you the legal right for the claim, we share the money, 60% to me 40% to you. Send me your Phone number so we discuss on this transaction.

Have a nice time

Frank Bidu, Esq.

Phone: +44-755-353-1274

Anti-fraud resources: