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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: Bruce Shawcross <>
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2011 21:35:28 -0600
Subject: Important Proposal...

Good Day Sir/Madam,

I am writing to solicit your sponsorship of a business
deal worth £7,700,000.00 Pounds Sterling belonging to a late customer
of my firm that made an open-ended investments with us. Concidentally
this customer shares a common last name with you and i will need you
to come forward to claim this invested sum, since there is no one
coming for its claims since the investment period elapsed over a year
ago. I will furnish you with the full details of how we can realise
this deal itch free when you get back to me. Please only get back to
me if you are interested in the deal and capable of financing its
realisation. You can get back to me if you are interested on this
email address: .

Bruce Shawcross

Anti-fraud resources: