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:
- 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:
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Steven Mnuchin" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 06:41:16 -0400
Subject: Funds Transfer Update Contact Mr. Pedro Guazo
Our Ref: US/TRS/7184/ATCP
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT RESOLUTION PANEL ON WITHHELD PAYMENTS
We have 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 these problems.
Conclusively, we discovered that most withheld and unpaid funds originating from lottery organizations, international trading, company's awarded contract funds and deceased persons were 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.
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, the total sum of Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($7,500,000.00 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 sum of $7,500,000.00 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.
Contact him with below details.
- Your Full Names:
- Your direct mobile telephone number:
- Your present home address in the case of 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.
Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury