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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: Message Office <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:56:57 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Re

Western Union Money Transfer
One Bishops Square Akpakpa E1 6AO, Cotonou Benin Republic
Phone: +229 98539480
E-mail: or
Attention: Beneficiary,

This to inform you that the federal ministry of finance Benin Republic has started
releasing Scam victim compensation fund mandated by United Nation Organization
through our office.

I am contacting you because our agent will be sending you the first payment of $5,000
for your compensation funds total amount of ($1,500 000 USD dollar) by ATM Card Payment

we need your urgent response so that we shall release your payment information to

You can call our hot-line for urgent response. ( +229 98 53 94 80 )

Our pleasure to be of your service

Wishing you best success

Mr .Ada Muli
Director Western Union Money
Benin Republic
Phone: +229 98539480

Anti-fraud resources: