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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: Rachel Johnson <>
Reply-To: Rachel Johnson <>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:18:48 +0100
Subject: Dearest in Christ.

Dearest in Christ.

Greetings in the name of our Family; this is the second time l am contacting you with regards to the charity work. I am Mrs. Rachel Johnson, an ageing widow suffering from longtime illness. I am currently admitted in a private hospital here in Abidjan the capital city of Cote D'Ivoire.

I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Late Mr. Douglas G. Johnson, the sum of US$12.500,000.00 which he deposited in a Bank here and I need a very honest and God fearing Christian that can use this funds for God's work and 15% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work of God. I  found your address and i decided to contact you. Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work kindly reply me.

Yours Sister.

Mrs. Rachel Johnson.

Anti-fraud resources: