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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: David Williams <>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2018 06:21:47 -0800
Subject: Urgent Attention

Dearest one.

Good day to you. I am using this medium to request for your assistance
in transferring ownership of the sum of $28.8m I discovered during
auditing in my bank. Please if interested kindly send the following
details so that we can open up communication to that effect.

Full names:
Home address:
Mobile phone number:

I make this appeal with hope that you will partner with me to secure this funds.

Yours faithfully,
David Miller Williams

Anti-fraud resources: