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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: "ALLEN AND VIOLET LARGE" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 08:04:02 -0400

This is a personal email directed to you. Let me formally introduce
myself to you, my name is Mr. Allen Large. I and my dear wife Violet
won a Jackpot Lottery of $11.3 million in July 2010 and have
voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $500,000.00 USD to you as
part of our own charity project to improve the lot of 5 lucky
individuals all over the continents of the world. If you have received
this email today then you are one of the lucky recipients and all you
have to do is get back to us so that we can send your details to the
payout bank. Please provide us your full name, Date of birth,
telephone, address, country,. You can verify this by visiting the web
pages below.
You have to contact my private email (
Good luck,
Allen and Violet Large

Anti-fraud resources: