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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: "Ruben Martins" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 16:09:38 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS

International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank

Dear Beneficiary

You have been listed as a beneficiary of COVID-19 relief grant under the auspices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Funds (IMF) , this Grant is to support the effect of the present economic meltdown caused by COVID-19 which has ravaged the world, the IMF /World Bank has approved the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United States Dollars) to enable you invest or expand your business/company to boost the economy of your country.

You are to provide your Address, Direct telephone number and a copy of your identification to enable us proceed.

Ruben Martins
Executive Director
COVID-19 Relief Funds

Anti-fraud resources: