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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: "Mrs Kathleen Micheals" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 04:15:50 -0700
Subject: Attention Funds Receiver

United Nations Investigationn Office
Cotonue-Republic of Benin
Attention Funds Receiver
This is to verify if you have received your $2.5 million united states dollars that deposited with the federal reserve bank new york, USA.  During our investigation, we gathered that your inherittance/ Lottery  winnings has been long delayed due to currupt practises by the then paying bank (HSBC BANK)
You are hereby required to stop all communication with anyone or group as regards this your funds transfer, and forcus on this process to have your funds paid directly to you without any delays.
Kindly provide the required information below:
Full Name:
Age/ Sex/ Occupation:
Residence Address:
Direct mobile number:
Be rest assured that once your positive response is received, your funds transfer will be done within the next 48 hours without any fees required.You can use my private box
Mrs Kathleen Micheals
United Nations
Funds Investigator
Tel:+229 673 11427

Anti-fraud resources: