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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: "Free Water Consultancy" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:56:07 -0800
Subject: Your Grant

We have been commissioned by United Nation (UN) to reconcile their accounts with
those that were given non-repayable grants to establish businesses in their
localities so as to reduce unemployment.

We discovered that you haven't claimed your grant which was suppose to be
disbursed to you from one of their (UN) affiliate consultants. Let us know if
you are still interested in claiming the $400,000.

This amount is non repayable by you. It is to be used to generate employment for
people around you.

Reply us so that we re-process your documents and pay you immediately.

Waiting for your reply.

James Phil
Finance Cooperation

Anti-fraud resources: