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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: "United States Department of Homeland Security" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:30:19 -0800
Subject: Re: Transfer Notice

For Your Kind Attention:
Re: Transfer Notice.
A transfer notice was served to us by The Federal Reserve Bank; NY in connection with your funds US5.5M has been transferred in your name favor by Santander  bank Uk.
Upon further investigation, I discovered that the funds are cleared and ready to be credited into your account only upon your presentation of the certificate of origin of fund. And fund indemnity certificate.
Kind regards,
Janet Napolitano
United States Department of Homeland Security.
Nebraska Avenue Complex, Washington DC.

Anti-fraud resources: