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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: "JOSEPH TOWNSEND" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 22:05:36 -0700
Subject: Your email address chosen to claim $5M donation

Dear Beneficiary,

This notification is from JOHNNIE TAYLOR Legal representative and you are to benefit from the above mentioned family charity project aimed at touching lives and helping those in need across the world as God has blessed him.
This donation of $5M(Eight Million United States Dollar) is made out to you and mostly to generously help Johnnie Taylor extend hands of giving to the less privileged, orphans and charity organizations within your locality.
Johnnie Taylor won the Powerball Jackpot of $476M in NEW YORK LOTTERY DRAW on April 14,2023 and voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $100M to charity and medical support.
All participants were selected randomly through email addresses extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies .
Should you wish to verify, below are links to that effect.
Kindly forward your Message of Acceptance to :

Barr. Joseph Townsend (ESQ)
Kleinman Ginzberg LLP

Anti-fraud resources: