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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: "Reed Ian" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 13:57:33 +0100
Subject: Note

RE:Second Notification

We wish to notify you again that you are listed as a beneficiary to the
total sum of Thirteen million One hundred thousand dollars in the codicil
and last testament of the deceased.

We contact you because you bear the last name identity and can apply as
the beneficiary to the inheritance. We recommend that you can receive these
funds as you are eligible to apply based on your name. All the legal
papers will be process in your acceptance and approval of this mutual

Best Regards

Ian Reed

Anti-fraud resources: