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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:26:37 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
I am Steven Terner Mnuchin Secretary of the Treasury, under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can get more details about me here;
At the recently concluded meeting with the World Bank and the United Nations, and the US Government, an agreement was reached between all parties for us to settle all outstanding payments accrued to you with respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment. Fortunately, you have been approved to receive your payment of US$10.550,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars only) as calculated.
We have been notified that you are yet to receive your fund valued at US$10.550,000.00. This money will now be transferred to your nominated bank account.
You are advised to kindly reply to this email with the details enclosed to help us process your payment immediately;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Country of Residence:
(5) Phone/Cell Number:
Please contact me immediately so that we can process the transfer of your fund and avoid delay.
Looking forward to hearing from you and God Bless America.
Steven Terner Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
(U.S. Department of the Treasury)
Note: The information contained in this e-mail is private & confidential and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify, preferably by e-mail, and do not read, copy or disclose the contents of this message to anyone