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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: Joy Braima <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 15:23:00 +0100 (BST)
Subject: My name is Joy Braima

My name is Joy Braima,23 years, from Sierra Leone studying in London.Please can i confide in you? Currently, i am having great problem with my wicked uncle Michael Braima, who have succeeded taking all of my father's properties by force after i had lost my parents in a plane crash which had made me an orphan.

I wish request that you secretly assist me dislodge a fund of $2.9Million U.S.Dollar which my late father deposited for my up keep. I have every proof for the deposit and i am willing to give you 25% of the total fund when everything is done.

I will give the full details of the deposited fund as soon you show your interest by replying to my private email:


Joy Braima.

Anti-fraud resources: