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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: "Email-alert" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2016 15:01:59 -0700
Subject: 21/05/2016

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Investigation Officer
Accra Ghana.

After proper and several investigations and research at Western Union and Money Gram Office, we found your name among those that have been scammed and swindled by those unscrupulous persons. In this regard a meeting was held between Ghana Government and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a consequence of our investigations it was agreed that the sum of One Hundred and twenty Thousand United States Dollars ($120,000.00) should be giving to you as compensation.

We have submitted this E-mail ID to our payee bank (United Bank for Africa) UBA Ghana PLc. Contact your payment account officer through his email address below;
Contact Person: Mr. Kwesi Adam
Contact Email:

Yours sincerely,
Mrs. Gloria Titi
Investigation Officer.

Anti-fraud resources: