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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: "Patricia Elsworth" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 02:18:55 -0500
Subject: Hello!

Skype Awards Promo
From The Desk Of The Promotions Manager
International Promotions/Skype Award Center
124 Stockport Road, Longsight,
Manchester M60 2DB - United Kingdom

Reference Number: 1037231LL

This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Five Hundred
Thousand Pounds(£500,000,00.) for the month of January,2009 Prize
promotion which is organized by Skype AWARDS. The Skype collects all the
email addresses of the people that are active online,among the millions
that subscribed to various websites. Six people are selected monthly to
benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.

Winners shall choose from one of the payment option stated below:

A] Bank Wire Transfer
For this option, winners must provide the below stated information:
(1) Bank Full Name:
(2) Bank Full Address (including State and Country)
(3) Bank Telephone Number
(4) Bank Account Number
(5) Name of Owner of Account
(6) Swift Code
(7) Charge of Transfer (C.O.T) - £650 (Must be paid before consignment
transfer of funds)

B] International Certified Cheque

For this option, winners must provide the below stated information:
(1) Your Full Name
(2) Your Complete Mailing Address
(3) A Scanned Copy of your I.D clearly showing your face. (Note that this
I.D will be required to claim your parcel when it arrives your apartment).
(4) Insurance Fee & Shipment charge of £352 (Must be paid before
consignment dispatch)

All funds must be claimed no later than 5 days from date of Draw
Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be
forfeited.Stated below are your identification numbers:

Below you will find a Processing Form, requesting your required
Particulars. Please provide all requested information to help us processs
your claim in good time.


REFERENCE NUMBER:____________________________
FULL NAMES:__________________________________
STATE:__________________________________ ZIP: _____________________
MARITAL STATUS: _________________
OCCUPATION: ________________________
E-MAIL ADDRESS: _____________________________
PAYMENT OPTION: [A]_________________ / [B]_______________

Forms Should be returned to your claim agent with details below

Agent Austine Hefner
Tel: +447035939320


Yours in service
Patricia Elsworth
(Lottery Coordinator)

This Notification MUST remain confidential until your funds is
successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may arise
from double claim. You may also receive similar e-mails from people
portraying our image. This is solely to collect your personal information
from you and lay claim over your winning. In the event you receive any
e-mail similar to this notification letter we have emailed you, kindly
delete it from your mail box and make no further correspondence to such
persons or body.Skype shall not be held responsible for any loss of fund
arising from the above mentioned.

Anti-fraud resources: