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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: "Sen. David. B. Mark" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 03:52:41 -0600
Subject: Notification.

Greetings to you,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this Notification mail meets you in a perfect condition. I am Sen. David. B. Mark, This is to Notify you that I have written a Cheque of $850,000.00USD (EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) on your behalf.
Just last month, I had a business contract of about 50,000,000.00USD (FIFTY MILLION USD), which has successfully been completed by the Grace of God, Why am doing this is because, before this transaction I said to myself that if this transaction should work out successfully like it has, That I will give to at least 10 Individuals that the Lord will lead me to $850,000.00USD Each.
My Dear Friend, you are lucky and should be Grateful to God that I was directed by his grace to include yourself in my given out of Funds to fulfill and to keep to my Word. I have authorized the finance house where I deposited my money to issue you an International certified bank draft cashable at your bank.
My dear friend I will like you to contact the finance house for the collection of this international certificated bank draft. The name and contact address of the Person with your Cheque is Mr. Max Kelvin
AGENT: Mr. Max Kelvin
At the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which I And my new partner is having at hand in the United Kingdom.
Below is my contact information in the United Kingdom in case you want to Verify or get any confirmation from me but I want you to be rest assured that Your bank draft will be cashed at you nominated Bank.
Name:  Sen. David. B. Mark
Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the finance house on our behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact them without Delay. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Yours Faithfully,
Sen. David. B. Mark

Anti-fraud resources: