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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: "JOHNSON J. BRITT" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2018 14:25:52 -0800
Subject: ***Spam*** From Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

26 Federal Plaza,
New York, NY 10278,
United States of America.


It has come to the Notice of the authority of Federal Bureau of Investigation and Money Laundering Monitoring Unit, Through our Intelligence Monitoring Network, That you have an abandon fund valued $11.5 Million Dollars (Eleven Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which was sent to you from the bank of Africa through a diplomat agent. The said fund, After due investigation was carried out contrary to Article 102,Section 36,Sub-Section IV of the 1995 Financial and Allied Decree 20,guiding money shipment.

With full apology, we wish to remind you of the consequences of shipping such amount of money into the country without complying with the provisions of the financial regulations and decree 20 of 2001 which stipulates that an amount of such magnitude must be cleared of Money Laundering and Drug Clearance which will duly guarantee and cover the money as being legitimately acquired. This fund is now pending to be release and delivered to you on the receipt of the above document.

By virtue of the powers conferred on us, in our capacity as the accredited agency to fight crime we therefore you advised to bring to this office Drug/Money Laundering Clearance Certificate immediately for the release of your fund.

You are required to bring the sum of $1,250 to our office to be sent to the appropriate office in charge of issuing the clearance if you do not have it and failure to comply within 24 hours will result in having your fund confiscated and also charge you for money laundering.

Your immediate response and cooperation is highly anticipated.

J. Britt Johnson
Special Agent in Charge
New York.

Anti-fraud resources: