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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: " Int'l Monetary Fund." <>
Reply-To: " Int'l Monetary Fund." <>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2014 20:50:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent

After due meeting with United Nations and the World Bank Auditors in respect of your overdue outstanding payment of Nine Million United States Dollars, we have been directed to commence the process of releasing your payment into your nominated bank account through Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In all honesty, we are sorry for the inconvenience you have been going through regarding your payment, you are advised to reconfirm your detail information which includes the following for authorization letter. Be informed that transfer will commence immediately we hear from you within 24hours in accordance with fund release order regulations.

A. Full Name:
B. Full Address:
C. Cell Phone Number:
D. Your International Passport or Driver's License

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Paul Barnett
International Monetary Fund

Anti-fraud resources: