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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: " MR JAMES WILLIAMS" <"www.">
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 19:24:58 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Western Union Money Transfer.

Western Union Money Transfer.
Dear Customer,

Good day, I have received your mail regarding your transfer via our service of Western Union Money Transfer. After our board of Directors meeting this morning, we agreed that sum of $5000.00 will be sending to you on daily basis till your payment is complete.

Below is your first payment information that is awaiting for pick-up in any Western Union location in your country.

MTCN: 609-364-4273
Sender: Anthony Robert
Question: Best Color
Answer: Green
Amount: $5,000

Its important to inform you that this payment is not yet available for you till your payment files is activated. According to your records here, the activation charge of your payment files is USD$ 68.00 only. Within 30-minutes of activation, your payment will be available for pick-up in any Western Union in your country and be informed that this activation fee is one-time payment, once its activated you will be free to receive your daily payments.

Send the fee through Western Union Money Transfer to:

Receiver Name:
Destination: Cotonou, Benin Republic
ANSWER: We Trust
Amount Sent: 68$

Send the payment details such as:

Money Transfer Control Number [MTCN]
Senders Name:
Senders Address:

As soon as we confirm the fee today, we will immediately activate your payments and notify you back then you can pick up your first of $5,000 today as stated. Please note that you need to go along with your passport ID or Drivers license when you need to pick up the transfer today okay.

Thanks as I wait for your urgent respond.

Yours respectfully,
Mr. Anthony Williams
DIRECTOR Western Union Payments

Anti-fraud resources: