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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: "Mrs.Grace Johnson" <>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Grace Johnson" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 07:15:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Contact Western Union

Read carefully,

The (IMF) International Monetary Fund IMF is compensating all the scam victims $2,700,000 million each,and your email address was found in the scam victim's list.This Western Union office has been mandated by the IMF to transfer your compensation to you via Western Union Transfer.emai( )

Call Dr.Eric Anthony +229 98556459 immediately you get this mail to release 1 digit MTCN Number 767053075*

to pick up $5000 Usd first payment contact this is office (

Receiver Name:-___
Phone number:-____

Note that your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 48hours 2 working days if we did not hear from you,this is instruction giving to us by the IMF

IMF Mrs.Grace Johnson

Anti-fraud resources: