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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: "Roy Richardson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 21:21:14 +0100
Subject: I need your assistance

Dear sir
I write to request for your honest legitimate assistance in this transaction.
I work with  Libyan high commission office as the senior special assistant to the
current finance minister dr. hafid zulaytini
I have in my possession the sum of $35.5m usd for investment.
I need your quick assistance to stand as the consignee of the fund where i
deposited it in a security company for safe keeping as my country Libya is unrest.
please contact me as soon as possible through my private email for further details:
Yours sincerely
Mr. Richardson Roy.

Anti-fraud resources: