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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: Sarah Cooksey <>
Reply-To: Sarah Cooksey <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 01:00:45 +0900 (JST)

My Dear
Beloved, Based on your good profile I want to solicit for your help in
fulfilling my wish, I am Mrs Sarah Cooksey. I am writing you this letter is
because I want you to stand as beneficiary to the sum of my $4 Million (Four
million  thousand united states dollars) I don’t have any biological child
of my own who will inherit this money neither do I have any adopted child My
relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness and
I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of
them anymore. The countries I have in mind to donate part of this fund to their
orphanages is; 1, Sri Lanka. 2, India, 3, Pakistani, 4, Indonesia, 5
Philippines.  And any other countries you may need to add.Expecting to
your message soonest  Sincerely

Anti-fraud resources: