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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: "Sandra Willis" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 00:11:09 +0800
Subject: Release Of Your Payment.

My dear,

Be informed that We have concluded to effect your payment (2.1M USD) Two Million One Hundred Thousand
Dollars through Western Union Money Transfer. But the maximum amount you will be receiving daily
starting from tomorrow onward is 5,100.00USD until the funds is completely paid out to you.

Now, contact Western Union Agent: Roger Reynolds E-mail:( Tele: +229-990-39002
Though, 5,100.00 USD has been sent in your name today so contact Mr.Roger Reynolds and tell him to give
you the MTCN, Sender Name, Question/Answer to pick the 5,100.00 USD.

Please let me know as soon as you received all your funds (2.1M USD) Two Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars. Thank you.


Sandra Willis

Anti-fraud resources: