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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:

Reply-To: MONEYGRMA <>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 23:48:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Approved Beneficiary,

Dear Approved Beneficiary,

Your email address has been selected in the on-going MONEY GRAM Online Email promo Lottery held on 17th of Nov 2016 at West African Regional Head Quarter in Cotonou, Benin Republic. We the MONEY GRAM Regional board are pleased to inform you that your Email address alongside (50) other lucky winners have been approved for a payment of ($1.5). If you receive this email, Please be informed it is not an error and your verification number is: (MG-MA/908308/2016). Your

winnings are to be paid through money gram on daily transfers of $5,000 dollars till the total of your winnings ($1.5) is confirmed by you. As a matter of fact, the first payment has been programmed in our system but this transfer has no recipient name and location until we received the below listed requirements.

Once again, this transfer can only be tracked online but cannot be accessed or picked through any MONEY GRAM Agent until it is fixed on your name and location. You are therefore, advised to forward the following information.

Sender's Name:---------Zelpha Ike
MTCN : --------------69133972
Amount: --------------- USD $5,000,00 USD (Available for pick up by receiver)

Note that you should be expecting to send along with the above listed information and processing fee of $89. Send it through money gram or western union on our cashier name as provided below Name:

Receiver`....BEN UZO
Country:... Benin Republic
City: ...Cotonou
Mtcn Number.......
Sender’s name…..
Sender’s telephone…
Senders address….

In order to avoid scam, note that this processing fee is the only financial requirement which you will be demanded from you before receiving your winnings.

Therefore, BEWARE OF SCAMMERS. The West African Western Union Board Congratulates you as you are directed to the 2016 Promo Lottery payment master. Remember that in receipt of the $89USD we shall release the first payment of $5000USD for you to pick up within 2hrs and by next day another $5000USD shall release to you until you get the USD$1.5M complete so be advised to hurry up to send the fee immediately and respond back with the details.

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs.Evelyn Lozada
The Promotion Manager of MONEY GRAM Head
Quatar Cotonou Benin Republic West Africa.

Anti-fraud resources: