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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: "Mr.D" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2016 02:34:53 +0200
Subject: Compliment of the Season

Compliment of the Season,

I am Mr.John Van Zyl as the Auditor General in one of the leading Banks in South Africa,I am very much excited today to bring to your notice my business deal of US$15 M (Fifteen Million United States Dollars Only).

So therefore,if you are keenly interested to assist please kindly get back to me with your name and your phone number & Country i will offer you 30% which is US$4.5 M.

This transaction is legal and 100% risk free.

I wait for your reply to send full detail to you.

My Best Regards
>From the desk of Mr.John Van Zyl
Director Auditor General.
Financial Governance
Johannesburg,South Africa
Tel: +27 78 101 5849

Anti-fraud resources: