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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: Ling Young <>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 08:40:06 -0300
Subject: HELLO

An oil business man made a fixed deposit of $24,500.000.00 in my bank
branch where am a
director and he died with his entire family in an auto crash leaving
behind no next of kin. I want to present you as next of kin to claim the
funds, get back to me if only interested for details as regards the
transfer of this funds.I shall require your full name, and telephone number
to reach you. Most importantly, a confirmation of acceptance from you after
which I shall furnish you with the full details of this transaction Reply
via this email only

Yours Truly,
Ling Young

Anti-fraud resources: