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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. John Lipsky Cotomali" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 02:29:35 -0800
Subject: Good Day,My Friend

Good Day,My Friend

Please, I ask for permission to talk to you through this medium, as I
search for foreign partnership. In my job a position as the leader of
payment managing directors of international monitoring fund,
monitoring all the fund in Africa development the High Way
Authorities, my office was responsible for payment and settlement of
contractors who carry out these projects in west Africa High-ways
Roads. As the Chairman of these organization, there is still a balance
left behind worth about $27.4million which presents a unique
opportunity for our mutual benefit as a result of over-invoiced I
generated during the ordering process. All I need is for you to simply
claim the contract payment for work done. I will furnish you with all
necessary information and direction that will enable you claim these
payments with ease through my office and provide you with strategic
risk free guidance. All you need to do now is to reply expressing
interest so I provide further information for us to precede in
accordance with law .If this is also not an opportunity you will like
to pursue, I will respect and
appreciate you bowing out. Do get back to me through this private
(email: or email:
for your time.

once again dear friend if you have done any project in Africa and they
refuse to pay you your money open up to me and let me know how much
they are owning you i promise you that with my position you will get
all your money let team up and get this $27.4million before it will be
too late

Mr. John Lipsky Cotomali
Payment Director of IMF

Anti-fraud resources: