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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: "Anthony Wang Esq" <>
Date: Sun, 15 May 2011 07:10:50 +0300
Subject: RE


I am Anthony S. Wang, Attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, who lost
his life along side with his wife and only child in (Beirut-bound charter
jet) plane crash on the Monday, 9 January 2006,
12:12GMT. Prior to the
Death of my Late Client.

I have contacted you to assist me in distributing the money left behind by
my late client (US$8,500,000.00 Million) is lodged in the bank.
Barrister Anthony S. Wang

Anti-fraud resources: