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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: "Melvin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 23:33:08 -0700
Subject: ( 06/07/2016) REPLY

Attention: Beneficiary,
My name is Mr melvin Kakha of the International Monetary Fund
investigation unit. We received a letter in our office here in London
UK today the 5th of July, 2016 requesting that your unclaimed fund be
paid to Janet Williams.
In the said letter, representatives of Janet Williams states that you
are dead and as such your Fund/Shipment should be paid to her as the
next of kin to you.
Because of the elaborate global scam, we decided to contact you for
confirmation. If after seven working days, no response is received
from you, it will be assumed that you are dead and as such
authorization and approval will be granted on behalf of Janet Williams
to claim/receive your fund.
Confirm this letter and reconfirm your Information as the fund
totaling $10.5 million dollars is already in our custody for safe keeping.
Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm,
1. Full Name:___________________
2. Address:____________________
3. Nationality:__________
4. Age:__________
5. Occupation:_____________
7. State of Origin:___
8. Telephone:_______________
9. Copy Of Your Identity: ____________
Please feel free to ask questions for clarification regarding this matter.
Mr Melvin Kakha.
International Monetary Fund investigation unit

Anti-fraud resources: