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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: "kate john" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 05:19:01 +0600 (BDT)

Urgent Reply Needed.
My Dear Friend,

My name is kate john, who is diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. To cut
the long story short, I have few hours left to live, depending on my
surgery which will take place soon. Although I am rich, but it doesn’t
matter anymore.

I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so with that
reason I decided to give what I have to charity and I never had children.
I want this to be one of the last good deed on earth. I now give you the
authority to dispatch my last funds to any charity of your choice.

I have Six million dollars in a financial institution. I want you to keep
fifty percent of this amount for yourself and time, while you keep the
other fifty percent to any charity of your choice. May God be with you as
you carry out this task.I believe with this,

I can now be free to depart peacefully. You can then contact my lawyer who
will assist you in getting the funds to you when I pass. He would give you
more details. His name is petra own, and his email address ( ) He would guide you through receiving the funds

kate john

Anti-fraud resources: