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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: "Cullen Bekker" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:51:46 +0100

Dearest Confidant

My Fervent apologies for intruding into your privacy at this time.I am contacting you on account of a very favourable business proposal that would be of mutual benefit to us both.

My Name is Cullen Bekker and i am a transaction agent to the powerball lottery international.I am contacting you to be a beneficiary of $1,000000 (one million united states dollars) which has come up as unclaimed funds in our lottery system.

I intend to process you as beneficiary of the winnings and also issue all legal documents in your name.Please check link for further clarification. <> <>

please contact me directly on +447045759885 with Full names,address, phone contact sent to <> for further details

Yours truly

Cullen Bekker

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Anti-fraud resources: