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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: "David Brown" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:45:23 -0700
Subject: Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Hours: Open today 8:00 am 10:00 pm
OFFICE TEL:  +1 (510) 957-4958 for Call and Text SMS..
OFFICE TEL: +1 (646)844-8590 for Call and Text SMS..
This is to acquaint you on the outcome of our meeting with Western Union Co (WU.N) and the Association of Better Business Bureau to compensate scam victims upon due verification. The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have seriously taken the instructions of the new president of the United States of America, Donald Trump to boost the security exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to individuals and organizations as a result the past Government failure to settle each victim with the mandated compensation amount of US$950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United State Dollars)
Western Union (WU) allowed criminals to use its global money transfer service to carry out hundreds of thousands of scams. The company admitted to this crimes in a federal settlement under which it has been agreed that they return $586 million to victims of the numerous fraud.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Thursday that Western Union knew for years that con artists were using its services but ignored the signs. That included more than 550,000 customer complaints the company received between January 2004 to June 2017. These con artists racked up billions in fraudulent transactions over that time period as reported by the FTC agency.
In some of thier con tactics, these criminals would call a Western Union customer and direct them to wire money to claim a prize or to help a relative, once the money was sent, it would not be refunded/recovered. Some Western Union agents went along with the scam for a cut of the profits they usually get.
Visit our web page below to carefully read the article confirming the legitimacy of your compensation fund from Western Union Money Transfer as one the listed and approved victims to be paid the aforementioned amount.
Kindly contact the officer in charge of allocation and dispatch of the funds for the immediate claim of your compensation.
Contact Person: David Brown
Email Address:
In light of the above, a priority payment instruction has been dully issued to us to credit the mentioned amount to your personal account been your payment as soon as you contact with your personal information's Upon receipt of this mail.
Full Name:
Phone Number:
ID Card:
Indicate from the options listed below how you wish your funds to be conveyed to you
1. Bank to Bank wire transfer
2. Draft/Cashier's check
3. ATM Credit Card
Looking forward to your immediate response so as to enable us convey your fund across to you under the supervision of the United Nations and the World Bank Group.
Maureen K. Ohlhausen
Chairwoman, Federal Trade Commission.

Anti-fraud resources: