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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: "Peter Johnson ESQ" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 15:06:26 +0100
Subject: Treat as such

Good day,

This is a personal E-mail directed to you and I request that it be treated as such. I am Barrister Peter Johnson QC a solicitor at law practicing in London. I have a proposition relating to the trusteeship of a late client.

I have been given the final notice as his private attorney to present members of his extended family who may stand as beneficiaries to his investment or have them forfeited.

I have in the past few years conducted search in order to reach any of his blood relatives, but all efforts have been abortive. It is my intention that we work this claim together.

Kindly contact me on my private email: ( for a better confidentiality.


Barrister Peter Johnson ESQ

Anti-fraud resources: