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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: "Raelene McDonald" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:30:00 -0000


Thank you for getting back to me. I represent a family with the mandate to channel £12.5 million GBP investment fund into profitable business venture with atleast 3% ROI within the next 5 years

I want to present you as a foreign investor and authorize for the money to be moved to you in your country through bank transfer or diplomatic arrangement.

Kindly confirm your interest to work with me and the areas of investment you recommend?

Thank you for your swift and positive reaction.

Warm Regards

Raelene McDonald

Anti-fraud resources: