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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: "Dr. Thomas Winzen" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 13:34:23 +0100
Subject: Notice!

Be informed
Your direct award allocation amount of US$1,500,000.00 Dollar has been
approved by the United Nations Economic Commission in conjunction with
the European Payments Council. Your money has been loaded into an ATM
card which will be delivered to you in person at your place of
residence via DHL courier service.

Your ATM card can be used anywhere - to shop online, to pay in stores
and to withdraw cash at ATMs in any part of the world. For more
information and clarification, contact our zonal coordinator with your
details for the delivery of your card. E-mail: ( ) Mr. Martin Amado. Tel: +229-99 750 765.

Best regards,
Dr. Thomas Winzen.

Anti-fraud resources: