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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: "Mr. Elliott Harris" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:37:42 -0800
Subject: HELLO

This is to inform you that the governing board of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Monetary f u n d(IMF) has given a credit instruction to the b a n k of A m e r i c a New York to t r a n s f e r the sum of US$12.5M into your account and all charges will be DEDUCTED from the SUM before t r a n s f e rring to your customer b a n k.
You are to reconfirm the information as below,
As soon as you send us your consent of approval for deduction ,We will proceed to the Court for a sworn affidavit and subsequent deductions of charges from the U S $12.5M and further credit into your account.
You are advised not to compromise to anybody in respect of this request to have your f u n d paid because most of you has spent huge sums of money to scammers.
Thanks for your co-operation
Mr. Elliott Harris
(Special Representative IMF to the U n i t e d N a t i o n s)
(347) 412-1306

Anti-fraud resources: