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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Justin Muzinich" (may be fake)
Reply-To: < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 05:32:39 -0800
Subject: [Spam]From US Department of the Treasury
I am Justin Muzinich, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, US Department
of the Treasury. You can get more details about me here;
I have been tasked with the responsibility of liaising with
beneficiaries regarding all previously unpaid/unclaimed funds and be
sure all such funds are paid by the start of this fiscal year 2021.
A directive has been issued to us to settle all outstanding payments
accrued to individuals with respect to local and overseas contract
payment, debt re-scheduling and outstanding compensation payment. We
have been notified that you are yet to receive your fund. Fortunately,
you have been selected alongside a few other beneficiaries to receive
your own payment of $950,000 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United
States Dollars only). This money will hence be transferred to your
nominated bank account.
You are advised to kindly reply this email with the below details
enclosed to help us process your payment;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Date of Birth:
(4) Phone/Cell Number:
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
(US Department of the Treasury)