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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: "Gerald" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2012 20:09:06 -0400
Subject: From Gerald

Compliments of the day,

I am Gerald Bifa a banker, please I have something very important I want us to discuss and it is very urgent, is about a business deal in my bank UBA where I work I discovered a huge sum of money which I want us to transact together for our mutual benefit. I will like us to share the money 50/50 and I do hope you will not disappoint me like the other person did to me before.

I discovered a dormant account in my bank that have not been operational since many years which the account holder is dead since many years and no trace of the relations from my investigations. His name is James Nicolas. I want to use you as the family member of James Nicolas to transfer the money to any safe account you will provide.
Let me know your interest and willingness to do this deal with me so that I can give you full details and information for us to move the money immediately to your bank account.

I am waiting for your reply so that I can inform you all.

Thank you.

Anti-fraud resources: