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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: "Mr.Bello Philip" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 20:53:22 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: From Western Union Money Transfer

>From Western Union Money TransferAttention To You Personally: Are you ready to pick up this $5,000.00 sent today. We have concluded to effect your payment through western union $5,000.00 daily until the $800,000.00 is completely transfered. Meanwhile, Our Office has western union $5,000.00 in your name today. So contact Western union Agent to pick up this $5000 now:Contact person: Dr Victor Williams,TEL: +229 68340922E-mail:  ( ) Ask him to give you the mtcn, sender name, question and answer to pick the $5,000.00. Also you should send to him your informations, YOUR FULL NAME: YOUR ADDRESS: YOUR DIRECT PHONE NUMBER: Thanks, Regards,Mr Bello PhilipFor Western Union Money Transfer

Anti-fraud resources: