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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: "Stephen Hofman" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 20:18:00 +0200

My name is Stephen Hofman, I am a practicing lawyer here in the United
Kingdom. My late client Edmund Miller Sr., an American who was a
consultant with Shell UK LTD here in London died with his family aboard
Egypt Air Flight 990, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on October
31st, 1999 (, and left no
beneficiary with respect to an account with total sum of $20 million that
has not been operated on for the past 16 years as a result of his death.

I am seeking your co -operation to present you as the next of kin to the
account. Contact me so as to give you more details. Thanks and Please
treat as confidential. I wait your urgent response.

Barr. Stephen Hofman
Tel: (+44) 770-003-0850
Fax: (+44) 700-593-1145

Anti-fraud resources: