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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: "Lady Mellisa Lewis" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 15:55:48 +0200
Subject: Urgent.

Dearest Friend,

My name is Mrs. Mellisa Lewis. I am 57 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I decided to WILL/donate the sum of(Fourteen Million Two Hundred, And Fifty Eight Thousand United States Dollars) to you for the good work of the lord. Contact my lawyer with this email:<>, tell him that I have WILLED 14.258M to you by quoting my personal reference number LLP/953/900//316US/UK.

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs. Mellisa Lewis.

Anti-fraud resources: