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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: "Hayes Arnold" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:11:59 -0600
Subject: My subject

Hello Dear.

I am Mr.Arnold A. Hayes, a regional managing director (Matro bank int'l) London England, Are you a trustworthy individual or company? may I trust you? can you handle A multimillion's top secret deal? If your answers to the above questions are yes,

contact me for immediate transfer of £17.7 millions to your account hence you bear the same name with a deceased client in my bank who died in a plane last year without any next of kin.

I will be delighted to offer you 35% of the total funds immediately, Contact me in my Private E mail Address ( for more details.

Kind Regards,
Hayes Arnold

Anti-fraud resources: