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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: "Finance Department Director" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 23:03:40 -0400
Subject: International Monetary Fund. IMF


I found your name in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid
(Contractors, Inheritance next of kin and lotto beneficiaries that was
originated from American, Europe, Asia plus Middle east and Africans,
among the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been
located to the Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Barclays Bank, Natwest
Bank, Bank of America, Eco Bank Nigeria plc and CBN Plus ATM payment to
mention only but few. Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who
will receive a part-payment of US$5.5 million and has been approved
already for months. You are requested to get back to me for more direction
and instruction on how to receive your fund.
However, we received an email from one Dr. Robert Walter who told us
that he is your next of kin and that you died in an auto crash some
weeks. Dr Robert Walter submitted account co-ordinates are as follows:
Bank of Lebanon
A/c no: 890458984589
Routing No: bl 275-79665
Beneficiary: Dr Robert Water

He has also submitted his account for us to transfer the fund to
him.We write to confirm the genuinety of his information before the transfer
could be made to him accordingly, I apologize to you on behalf Of
International Monetary Fund (IMF) if we have received a false information failure to
receive your funds earlier before now, which according to records in the
system has been long overdue, contact me via my email address:

Yours Sincerely,
Michael Kuhn
Director, Finance Department
International Monetary Fund. IMF



Anti-fraud resources: