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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: John Brown <>
Reply-To: John Brown <>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:36:30 +0000 (UTC)

 This is to officially inform you that this bank received a
correspondent from the United Nations and the World Bank to process
your file and remit your fund to you. We could not reply to your mail
since due to work load on my desk as there are other beneficiaries
that their file has been submitted before yours.

Therefore, the processing has started and would be ready as soon as
the legal papers are signed by the chief of remittance officer.
You will be duly informed after the endorsement; meanwhile, you are to
choice on how you wanted your $2.5M to be paid to, either by bank to
bank transfer or through courier delivery.

Yours truly,
Mr. John Brown.

Anti-fraud resources: