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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: Melinda Cojuangco <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 13:07:08 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Hello Dear,

Hello Dear,

My name is Mrs. Melinda Cojuangco, I am sorry the way these email came to you but I hope you will understand that it's out of circumstances that I have contact you.

I am the wife of Late Mr Lucio Cojuangco who was the former Philippines director of mineral resources who was assassinated along side with our son in 2007 in connection with government of Philippines due to greed and
jealousy of his wealth.

I am writing you due to what I have suffered here by my late husband's first wife and her children in connection with the government because the first wife is a relation to the president of Philippines. This is because my late husband willed 70% of his assets to me and my daughter which have been forcefully taken away from me by the first wife and her children with the connections of her sister who is in the presidency.

In one of the envelop I received from my late husband's lawyer, I saw a deposit certificate and certificate of legalization documents for a Finance company abroad with a later which explained to me that my late husband deposited some money in a finance company.

I am contacting you because I want you to help me in securing the money and help me leave Philippines since the first wife of my late husband through the government now monitor all my movement and also which right now I am leaving in absolute hardship because they stripped me off all my late husband's assets and left me with nothing. I hope to trust you as you will not sit on this money when you claim it. I am ready to give you 35% of the total money the diamonds for your assistance. If you are willing to help me, I will wait to hear from you so that i will give you more details on how to follow up.

God Bless you as you help.

Mrs. Melinda Cojuangco

Anti-fraud resources: