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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: Western union head office <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 03:44:53 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Your Inheritance/Winning payment of $1.5 Million USD

Your Inheritance/Winning payment of $1.5 Million USD was paid out to us, by the UN, and they have successfully succeeded in depositing your whole funds with

us here at Western Union Benin Republic. email Mrs. Alizah Moh'd on:  with
your Full name, Address, Age and Phone number for claims or call  +22998338661. You are to receive $7,600 USD every 24 hours for a period of 198 days.

Miss Mariana Amir
Western Union Payment Center, Benin Republic

Anti-fraud resources: