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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: "Maria Fernandez" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:26:29 -0600
Subject: Hello

Hello my Dear, and please to meet you.

I guess you don't really know me and I believe you must have received so many kinds of messages: However, after going through your profile, I felt like meeting you.

I am Mrs. Maria FERNANDEZ from the Philippines and as you know, I have been a widow since the 15th of May 2006. I was working with the Philippines High Court until I got retired.

I inherited the sum of 12, 000,000.00 USD from my late husband; This fund have been kept in a metallic box and deposited with the a security company here in the Philippines.

I would like to confide in you as I want to live the Philippines and come to your country for my future investment. I bide you to bear with me as this world so full of evil minded people and internet as well; Still I put my faith in God while contacting you because I have no other choice than to take this life risk.

Since the death of my late husband, his brothers dispossessed me of everything to the joint account with the Equity Bank of Manila. In order to avoid them from taking this fund, I had to negotiate with the company for the transfer of the box out of the Philippines through their diplomatic means and send it to their head office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The box was registered as family valuables content. No one knows its reall content till now. That is why am looking for a trustworthy person who will help me to claim this trunk box from the company before it will be late for me?

My dear, kindly consider my situaton as a disfavored widow and help me; its a life issue and its urgent,

Thanks for your attention and may God bless you,

Maria Fernandez

Anti-fraud resources: