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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: "Barrister Johnson Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:25:56 -0800

From The Desk Of Barrister Johnson Williams
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit
No.12 Ibrahim Taiwo Street, Aso Villa,
Abuja, Nigeria.
Office Number: +2347062334174
This is to acknowledge the receipt of the information's your next of kin have provided to us and to re-confirm from you,if truly you are the person that sent Mrs. Lee Woung your next of kin to pay your transfer fee of $250 Dollars needed to transfer your fund of $10 Million to her account on your behalf since you have been hospitalized for 2 weeks.
Be aware that will accept what ever he issue to us as evidence if we do not hear from you within the next 2 working days.We await your urgent response. via phone or Email;
Yours In Service,
Barrister Johnson Williams
Public Officer, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit
This e-mail including attachments, is confidential, may be privileged and is intended solely for the use of the name recipients(s). If you
are not the intended receipt, do not disclose, distribute or retain it, and please notify the sender immediately and delete the e-mail.

Anti-fraud resources: