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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: "Barbara Ranieri" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2018 03:16:41 +0200
Subject: My name is Charles Francis Feeney,

Hello Dear

My name is Charles Francis Feeney, a philanthropist and the founder of
The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the largest private foundations in
the world. I believe strongly in ‘giving while living. I had one idea
that never changed in my mind? that you should use your wealth to help
people and I have decided to secretly give USD 1.9 Million to randomly
selected individuals worldwide.

On receipt of this, you should count your self as the lucky
individual. Your email address was chosen online while searching at
random. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience, so I know
your email address is valid. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT THIS MY PRIVATE

Best Regards,
Charles Feeney

Anti-fraud resources: