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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: "Mark Odens" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:20:40 -0800

Hello Dear,

I am Mark Odens, a Lawyer in Cotonou Republic of Benin , Mr.Joerg a gold merchant who was my client and died as a result of lung cancer without a WILL, Now i want to present your name to Mr.Joerg's bank, so that the money left behind by Mr Joerg can be transfer to your account through my help.

The money value US $10.5M was lodged in a local bank here by Mr Joerg before his death on 23rd November 2009, I need your information so That I can present you to the bank as the next of kin for further proceeding: Please provide Your full Name and Address, Your Age, Occupation and Position,your email address and Mobile number for Communication Purpose, Please reply via my personal, so that I will send more details of Mr. Joerg to you.


Anti-fraud resources: