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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: "Robert Williamson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 23:54:41 +1000

Attention Beneficiary, I have contacted you because I've sent the first payment of $5,000 this morning from your winning funds amount of $1.5Million USD, Therefore you need to contact the Western Union agent Patrick Kilobro, and ask him to give you the transfer payment pick up information & the MTCN. Agent: Patrick Kilobro Email: Phone: +229 96509261 Please try to contact him today & ask him to furnish you with the payment information, also remember to indicate the registration code of EB-2520 to him when E-mailing or calling him, he will be sending you $5,000.00 daily as per our office discussion with him until the whole $1.5m winning has been completely sent. Do get in touch with us once you have received the money. Please copy this email:, and paste before replying to him or simply call him at his number: +229 96509261 Sincerely, Rev. Barr. Robert M. Williamson, ESQ. IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR BENIN REPUBLIC E-mail:

Anti-fraud resources: