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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: John Owen <>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 10:05:06 -0700 (PDT)



                              FOR YOUR IMPORTANT NOTICE.


It might interest you to note that We have Your IMF (Fund) packaged in our custody assigned to be delivered to your address from the IMF compensation unit Republic Du Benin, The packages valued at $2.5Million Dollars. You were randomly selected among the beneficiaries of this kind gesture from IMF via an electronic automated
message address.


The delivery agent handling the delivery is on his way to meet with you.
Kindly confirm the following information’s to enable us effect the delivery
without delay:


1)Your full name and address
2) A contact cell phone number of yours
3)The nearest Airport to your home.
4) A copy of your I.D eg driving license or international passport for
easy identification as the beneficiary during the delivery.

Your urgent response is awaited to enable us expedite action.
Best Regards.
Mr. John Owen

Anti-fraud resources: