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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",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.
Fraud email example:
From: "U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:37:14 -0500
Subject: COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT RESOLUTION PANEL ON WITHHELD PAYMENTS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
1500 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20220
I am Steven Mnuchin the Secretary of the U.S Department of the Treasury. The executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of the United States.
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT RESOLUTION PANEL ON WITHHELD PAYMENTS
You are being contacted today because you have not received your awarded funds and we want to advise you on the status of your funds payment case. Recently there was a court decision that favored you in getting your funds back from international banks withholding your funds. Although you are hearing from us for the first time, we have been working very hard for beneficiaries and making progress on our research on why international banks had failed to completely credit funds to international beneficiaries account.
We have also taken time to review unsuccessful transactions with most international inheritance/contract insurance companies and other foreign banks especially in Africa, Asia and the United Kingdom. We wish to let you know that we have communicated with most of these foreign banking institutions withholding most international payments to individuals and companies so as to find out why these funds were withheld, the source of the funds and a final solution to this problem.
Conclusively, we discovered that most withheld and unpaid funds originating from lottery organizations, international trading, company's awarded contract funds and deceased persons where not properly filed for international funds payment to its intended beneficiary.
As such, transfer suspension was placed on these funds because majority of these international funds remittance/transfer were not properly recorded by the paying institution for future file reference/assessment by the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Services Authority.
Presently, your ongoing transaction in which you will gain full assistance from us to monitor your case and make sure you receive your awarded funds on compliance will be on full effect in your favor as long as you have complied with the Order of Court Dialogue in which we are presently trying to obtain favor on your funds payment case.
In joint alliance with the Financial Services Authority to resolve this issue, we wish to let you know that we have been approved to assist you in receiving your awarded funds but only the total sum of Nineteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($19,500,000.00 USD). We have gone through the security manifest booklet of all international outstanding transactions and our extensive investigation confirmed that you are the beneficiary of this fund through the assistance of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) to investigate and release suspended withheld funds to its beneficiaries account abroad, we were able to gain an Approval Authorization Letter from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which stated that your funds will be paid to you on proper confirmation of its claim.
We wish to inform you once again that there is an existing arrangement with United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) in New York to process and pay you the outstanding debt of $19,500,000.00 USD as soon as you provide the complete requirements needed for them to process your fund payment case. This was resolved in a meeting held between the International Financial Auditors in Europe and our American representatives.
Name: Ramin Toloui
Assistant Secretary for International Finance
Contact him with below details.
- A scanned copy of your ID or drivers license:
- Your direct mobile telephone number:
- Your present home address for documents delivery:
Your nominated Bank Account information shall be requested for transfer of your funds after confirmation of your funds claims file by the processing officer.
By the virtue of the provision of the law which confer on us powers to advocate, adjudicate, suspend and authorize an immediate transfer of funds internationally, we hereby state emphatically and without prejudice that should there be any information that may succeed your application for unclaimed awarded funds release that are currently deposited in most foreign banks in Europe, Asia and in Africa, please do not hesitate to provide the information so that we can help you in receiving your funds.
Also note that failure to properly apply for the funds payment will nullify your chances of receiving your unclaimed funds and funds will be diverted into the government treasury.
Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury.