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:
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Department of the Treasury" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 12:34:26 -0700
Subject: RE: RECALL OF YOUR FUND
RE: RECALL OF YOUR FUND
I am Charles Collyns, Assistant Secretary for International Finance of United States
Treasury Department. Be informed that your fund has been recalled back from the offshore
payment center. This Recall was after the interception of the fraud attempt by some group
of suspected fraudulent officials who was trying to divert the fund to another account by
the International Remittance office.
It was detected after reconciliation of payment files which was directed by Board of
Directors of the United Nations Economic Commission and the United States Treasury
Department after the financial submitting which mandated United States Treasury Department
to investigate all outstanding and approved payment which is presently pending with
offshore payment centers around the world which your payment file was among the file and
irregularities was detected.
The fund was called back based on these findings, that upon thorough examination of your
debt records. (to ascertain the genuineness of the chargeable claims), and to determine
whether or not the procedures of Inheritance or contract were carried out in conformity
with the existing regulations,based on open tender policy, the following discrepancies were
1. Your payment procedures were being handled in an unusual transaction pattern, which gave
the avenue for all these fallacies and also bogus promises which is totally impossible in
any part of the world and also to use it as a blackmail means of extorting money from you.
All these contributed to make it impossible for you to receive your fund.
2. There was a large scale documentary pilferage, procedure diversions, (using UN-existing
offshore payment exercise, and documentary subversion, procedural hijacking through
fraudulent manipulations, all meant to divert your attention by frustrating you out of
patience for possible diversion of your payment to other account.
Based on that your fund has been recalled back by the order of the United States Treasury
Department Board of Directors for immediate re-transfer to your account that will be
provided by you, you are free to ask any question where you do not understand. The Board of
Directors of United States Treasury Department has appointed a Financial Consultant by name
Williams Smith & Associate that will oversee and approve every payment that will be release
to any foreign beneficiary.
So you are advice urgently to contact Williams Smith & Associate whom your file has been
directed to for final verification and release to your account through our corresponding
Bank, your urgent contact to Williams Smith will be highly in your favour based on the
finding in your file and also an attempt by some fraudulent officials to divert your fund.
Please, do keep us informed on any development on Williams Smith, your urgent contact with
Williams Smith will be in your favour and also you are advice to STOP any communication to
Be duly guided
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220