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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: "RICHARD CLIFFORD" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 20:06:08 +0800
Subject: Can we work on trust ?

Dear Sir/Madam,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship
with you. I got your contact from a computerize data following my effort
searching for a trustworthy person to assist me.

My name is Richard Clifford, I'm a season Banker with Malaysia HSBC Bank
(Malaysia office) as well an account officer to a deceased customer to our
bank, we lost this customer in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December
2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.His account of US$9.5 million with us have been
unclaimed due to unavailability of next of kin/relatives .

I seek your partnership to stand as the next of kin to enable us claim
the inheritance before the period given by the bank elapse.

Please reply immediately with your full information to


Richard Clifford.

Anti-fraud resources: