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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: "International Monetary Fund" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 20:36:09 +0100
Subject: 64434

IMF official file Release No. 020/imf/compensation

Attention: Email Owner !

I am happy to inform you that following the just concluded joint board
meeting of The IMF and The UN, official approval instructions have been
given for the release and transfer of compensation fund to scam victims.
Your email account came-up among others as one of the beneficiaries to
receive this fund transfer ! Kindly get back to me for the guidelines on how
to receive your fund transfer.


Assist.Official, Fund Release and Control

Compensation Fund Dept.IMF,

Anti-fraud resources: