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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: "George Laurence" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 23:42:03 +0100

Attention:  Beneficiary /compensation
This notification is sent to you from the administrative division of central bank of West African states in respect of an ongoing transaction involving a huge sum originating from Africa and bearing your names as the beneficiary. During our investigation, we observed certain malpractices carried out by the bankers involved in the transfer. Because of this malpractice we have decided to compensate you with the sum of ($750).  Your compensation was deposited in our bank.
Kindly reply back for more details of the transfer into your account.
George Laurence

Anti-fraud resources: