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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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 19:53:14 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Information

Dear Winner,
We are in receipt of your mail.
This program is organized by the international lotto and games subcommittee, endorsed by the European lottery guild in conjunction with NGO organizations in Switzerland.
Zürich Lotterien draws was conducted from an exclusive list of e-mail addresses of individual and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer ballot search from the internet as part of our international promotions program which we conduct every year. No tickets were sold.
After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address attached to serial number 02-87-87 drew the lucky numbers 4-11-41-26-02-62, which consequently emerged you as one of first ten (10) lucky winners in the United Kingdom category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay off of €1,000,000.00 (One Million EURO) in cash credited to file ZL/08/4008.  This is from a total cash prize of €50 Million Euro shared amongst the first fifty (50) lucky winners in this category.
Be informed that your funds are currently deposited in an offshore bank with a hardcover insurance.
To claim your prize funds, you are required to select from our alternative remittance scheme below:
1. You will require coming directly to our office for a direct claim. In this alternative, you will be required to procure an International Financial Guarantee to be eligible to handle such funds in the UK jurisdiction.
2. To make a telegraphic (Bank) transfer of your funds to your private bank account, you are required to send your name and address in full, phone number, bank name, bank address, account number, Swift/Routing/Sort Code, so as to facilitate the release of your funds to your stated bank account.
The above information will be forwarded to our issuing bank and your winnings will be transferred to your private account.
3. If you choose to employ a courier service for the delivery of your winnings, you are required to send your name, phone number, delivery address (home or office address) to our affiliate Courier/Diplomatic Service Company with the information below:
Strompost Diplomatic Security
And Couriers BV.
65 Petty Palms London
Tel: +44 703-190-9785
Fax:+ 44-703-198-1890
The courier company will assist you in delivery of your funds and all required documents to your door step.
If your chose option one (1) (Direct claim), kindly send us a return email so we can supply you with the necessary information and date for direct remittance of your funds. If you choose option two (2) (Bank Transfer), you will be required to send us your banking information for onward transfer of your funds to your nominated account. If you choose option (3) (Courier Delivery), you will be required to contact the Strompost couriers for the delivery of your winnings to your home or office address.
Following the stringent policies laid down by the International Gaming Board regulations and the Games and lotto Payout Subcommittee, all winnings must be claimed by the claims beneficiary. In no condition will your winnings be released to a proxy.
Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this board and thanks for being part of our promotions program.
Yours faithfully,
Mr. Stevens Herbert
Information and Payment Bureau:
London Representative Office.
Tel: +44 703-190-9785
     +44 703-593-1109
Fax: +44-870-974-4065
Mrs. Kirt Loberg.
Promotions Manager.
Zürich Lotterien.
Management and Central Services:
Weg 205 B - 02241, zum Erfolgreichen

Anti-fraud resources: