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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: "Charles P. Rettig" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2021 04:48:41 -0800

Internal Revenue Service {IRS} Department,
IRS Headquarters. 1111 Constitution Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20224, United States.
Phone:(385) 249-2856
C/O Charles P. Rettig.
the 49th Commissioner of IRS.
In Affiliation with United Nations, Africa Union
and Economic communities of west African states (ECOWAS).

Attention Beneficiary;
Your Long due Payment Is Ready:

It came to our notice today that a long over due unpaid contracts inheritance fund,next of kin and lotto benefits that was originated from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle east including American is among the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been located to the WELL FARGO BANK. Your email appeared among the beneficiaries, who will receive a part-payment of your contractual sum and has been approved already for months now. You are requested to get back to us for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund. However, we received an email from one Mr. Robert Cole Dean who told us that he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last week.

He has also submitted his account for the transfer of your fund to his account including his International passport. we want to hear from you before we can make the transfer and to confirm if you are dead or not. Please in confirmation that you are still alive, you are advised to reconfirm the below listed information to enable us facilitate immediate payment to you today.

1 Your full names
2 Your present contact address.
3 Your telephone & Fax numbers.
4 Your Occupations/age/sex.
5 Your Private Email Address.

Once again, We apologize to you on behalf Of IRS (Internal Revenue Service Commission) for the delays on paying your fund, which according to records in the system had been long overdue. You can contact the IRS director/chairperson Mr. Charles P. Rettig on his E-mail: While you can reach the bank manager on this number: +229-6059-8661 and his email is:

Sincerely Yours,
Charles P. Rettig
Chairperson/Director IRS,
the 49th Commissioner of the IRS
Federal Internal Revenue Service {IRS} Department
(385) 249-2856

Anti-fraud resources: