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:
- "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)
- 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: "Department of the Treasury" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 08:45:51 -0500
Subject: Payment approval reimbursement
Good day to you Sir / Madam
This email is to keep you informed that I Mr.Steven T. Mnuchin, nominated On February 13, 2017 the Secretary to the United States National Treasury wishes to inform you that there is an on-going reimbursement payment program, were with the help of the (OFAC) the United Nations, world bank and the United States Government is reimbursing scammed victims globally who may have one way or the other happen to lost outrageous amount of money to impostors claiming to be individuals, bank staffs nor organizations for the release of your numerous sums of fund via numerous ways which they do not have access to.
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this has been agreed upon and has been signed. You are advised to contact Mr Collins Lucas who is in charge of your payment through our office as he is our representative. Contact him immediately for more information on how to get your compensation of U.S $500,000 USD payment from the VISA CARD Verification Department
Therefore We have received a mandate and instructions from the (OFAC) and authorities involved here at the U.S Treasury Department to commence the immediate release of
your reimbursement payment valued at just ($500,000) Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only which has been endorsed for remittance to you accordingly in a
legal moral and ethical way. Which is why I have contacted and to let you know that the United States Department for Justice, in The Person of the Attorney General
will get some documents for you so that this transaction can be completed without delay.
This program is to sanitize the image of Africa that has stained by the activities of scammers and fraud stars by paying up all beneficiaries pending funds
accordingly. All payment will be via Bank transfer certified bank from our foreign treasury account. Therefore,you should furnish him with the following pieces of
1.Your full names
2.Direct telephone number/Fax Number
Person to Contact: Mr Collins Lucas
Visa Card Verification Department
For further inquiries : (646)-781-7154
The Department Officer Collins Lucas will provide you with instructions on how you can receive your reimbursement payment accordingly through any of your preffered channel
of delivery depending on your choice. All documentation that will be backing up your payment claim shall be obtained and a scanned copy will be sent to your email nor
fax machine as proof for verification.
Mr.Steven T. Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Main Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20220