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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: "Mr Martins Owen" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 22:05:21 +0200
Subject: Assistance Needed.

Dear Friend,

My name is Dr. Martins Owen, a legal practitioner with Owen & Associates in South Africa. I require your assistance and partnership in transferring the sum of $21, 500,000.00 (Twenty One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). You will be required to: -

(1) Assist in the transfer of the said sum.
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for subsequent investment and in the purchase of landed & viable properties.

I have all the information and guidance to enable you and I realize this opportunity. Kindly reconfirm your full names and contact telephone number for confirmation and for me to give you more information about this transaction. Time is not in our favour, so please establish secured communication with me through my email address below.

Dr. Martins Owen

Anti-fraud resources: