fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Elcock Levinson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:36:22 +0100
Subject: RE: SCHEDULED FOR SECOND TRANSFER OF YOUR FUND.
Debt Recovery & Settlement Department,
Managing Partners, Overdue Payment
Dates: 14/ 07/ 2020
Amount: $10,500,000.00 USD
Our ref: UN-WB/46783WB389003/X020
Direct Email I'd: email@example.com
RE: SCHEDULED FOR SECOND TRANSFER OF YOUR FUND.
We are pleased to inform you that 30% of your total funds will be
transfer to your account below. This wire transfer will be made on the
17th of July, 2020 by our Authorized bank into your designated Bank
account as stated below and your confirmation to the above will be
BANK NAME: LAIKI BANK
SWIFT CODE: LIKICY2N
A/C NAME: PARGLOW INVESTMENTS LTD.
A/C NUMBER: CY56 0030 0179 0000 0179 3211 9063
ADDRESS: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CENTRE, LIMASSOL CYPRUS
It was stated that the above account belonged to your business
associates in Cyprus. In view of this, kindly confirm receipt of funds
into your account on schedule date. We also need your urgent approval
to enable us to proceed with transfer of 70% balance into the same
We await your prompt response confirming receipt of your initial
payment before we proceed with your balance payment. Direct Email I'd:
Mr. Elcock Levinson
Dir. Debt Recovery & Settlement Department,
Managing Partners, Overdue Payment Resolution committee.