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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: "L O N D O N. UK" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 23:19:56 -0500

London , UK
Be informed that we have just arrested the people who defrauded you through online winning scams. We scrutinized their data through the Western Union database here in the UK and was able to apprehend some of them. We have frozen their assets and hence handover to the court.
According to the UK Supreme Court Requisition Order in conjunction with the Memorandum of Understanding ( M O U ) signed with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC) OF Nigeria , we were authorized to refund back 50% of their seized assets to you as part of the compensation to victims of fraud.
To administer the process, the 50% refund is totaling at ($180,000 USD) and it shall be paid back to you with an Intercontinental Bank Nig Plc Automated Prepaid Debit card which is already preloaded with the money. All you need to do is, forward your full name, delivery address and telephone number to:
Intercontinental bank Nig Plc,
Contact Person: Mr. Desmond Ubani
Telephone Number: 234-80990-43711
Upon hearing from you, they will activate your card and ship it to you. At the shipping cost of $ 150 dollars only .You're advised to halt any further communication with anyone promising you any fund from anywhere as further investigation is still in progress.
Best regards,
Shawn Dixon

Anti-fraud resources: