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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: "Mr. David Whyte" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 07:03:03 -0800
Subject: New York, NY 10029, USA.</DIV>

New York, NY 10029, USA.
We are humbly using this medium to inform you that your
unclaimed payment was recovered from AFRICA and has been
approved to be released to you from united states of
We have notified the officer incharge to release this funds
to you as soon as possible. You are expected to get the
Certificate of Clean Funds from the office of Mrs. Elizabeth
Peters, this certificate guarantees the final release
of your funds to you, Note that you are expected to
forward this certificate to the officer incharge before your
funds can be released to you. The only person that has the
right to issue this certificate to you is Mrs. Elizabeth
Upon the receipt of your response to this email, We
shall forward you the contact information of Mrs Elizabeth
Peters to enable you contact her for the issuance of the
required certificate in your name.
Have a wonderful day
Yours Faithfully,
Reply to
Mr. David Whyte
Director. United Nations

Anti-fraud resources: