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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. Tad Lenard" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 14:43:57 -0800
Subject: Strictly Confidential.

Hello, I apologize if the contents hereunder are contrary to your moral ethics, but please treat it with absolute secrecy and personal courtesy.

Strictly Confidential

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to write you this mail and even when it might come to you as a surprise. My name is Tad Lenard, I am a client services manager with Unclaimed Asset / Re-United Firm here in Europe. I would like to use this medium to ask your assistance.

I have in the course of my duties come in contact with an account that has been inactive for some years now and a careful investigation proved the depositor of the funds died five years ago. All attempts to reach the supposed beneficiary of the deposit were fruitless and before it is forfeited to the state, Can you assume next of kin ? I look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully Yours,

Tad Lenard

Anti-fraud resources: