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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: "James Frank" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 11:18:42 -0700
Subject: Can I invest in your country?

Hello Dear
This is Colonel James frank,a soldier currently on a special mission in Afghanistan,I am looking for a reliable partner that I can invest with in any profitable venture.Can I invest in your country,If You are interested kindly reach me directly at,,with your full names,contact address and telephone numbers,Skpe ID,colonel.james.frank1, I am a United States Citizen,47  years.
I have U.S 18.5 M $ (EIGHTEEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) which I have mapped out for the investment which is 100% legal.
I shall update you as soon as I hear from you.

Anti-fraud resources: