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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Mr. Steven Mnuchin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 11:47:22 -0700

This email is to notify you about the release of your outstanding payment with our office U.S. Department of Treasury as regards to your over-due inheritance payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly.

We were also want you to understand that a lady with name Cindy Spragg from Florida contacted us and also presented to all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your fund valued at US$10,500,000.00 but the we did the wise thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before will go ahead on wiring your funds to her. Your quick response is needed to this matter.

Mr. Steven Mnuchin Jr.
Executive Secretary United States Treasury Department

Anti-fraud resources: