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:
- 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)
- "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)
- "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: "Steven T. Mnuchin" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 04:31:54 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary: Urgent Response Needed Asap
I am Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can get more details about me here; http://www.treasury.gov/about/Pages/Secretary.aspx
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Terner Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017. As Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the U.S. Treasury, whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable prosperity at home and abroad.
At the recently concluded meeting with the World Bank and the United Nations, an agreement was reached between both parties that all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/companies with respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment should be settled immediately.
Fortunately, you have been selected alongside a few other beneficiaries to receive your own payment of $3,500,000 (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) being compensation your compensation from the World Bank and United Nations Financial Authority (UNFA).
We have been notified that you are yet to receive your fund valued at $3,500,000.00 (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only). This money will now be transferred to your nominated bank account that you shall provide.
You are advised to kindly reply this email with the following info stated here below in order to update our records and your File, and as well to facilitate the processing of your payment for effectual remittance into your bank account.
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Country of Residence:
(5) Phone/Cell Number:
Steven T. 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 us preferably by e-mail, and do not read, copy or disclose the contents of this message to anyone.