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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: "Hou Wang" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:09:22 +0200
Subject: A Mutual Beneficial Business Proposal.

Good day;

I am Hou Wang, Business Relationship Manager with the Hang Seng Bank Hong Kong. I am getting in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar last name and an investment placed under our banks management 8 years ago. I will furnish you with more details upon receipt of response from you.

I shall send you more comprehensive details upon the receipt of your response on how we will proceed with this project as I strongly advice that we act fast on the above subject matter because we have limited time frame at hand.

I look forward to your prompt reply to enable us move forward.

Hou Wang.

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Anti-fraud resources: