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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: FMF <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2019 14:53:04 -0700
Subject: Re: From

Federal Ministry of Finance
Ahmadu Bello Way,
Abuja, Nigeria

Based on our agreement at the recently held spring meeting with officials of your country's embassy for the release of your overdue Contract/Inheritance payment. $5,000,000.00 has been loaded into an ATM Card and registered with our assigned courier for delivery to you, Your Card PIN is: 7425 and the maximum withdrawal per day is $5,000. Contact Delivery Officer: Mr. Martin Board on Email: ( with your Name, Address, Phone Number.

Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed
Finance Minister

Anti-fraud resources: