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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Steven Mnuchin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 16:12:44 -0400
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
23rd, 26 Federal Plaza,
New York, NY 10278
NOTIFICATION OF YOUR PAYMENT.
We believe this notification meets you in a very good present state of mind and health.I am Christopher A. Wray Jr, the new FBI director nominated by President Donald Trump On June 7, 2017 to replace the former director James Comey after firing him by the President. My duty is to ensure global maximum security and to protect fundamental human rights.
We the Federal bureau of investigation (FBI) Washington,DC in conjunction with some other relevant Investigation Agencies here in the United states of America have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a transaction going on with the U.S. Department of Treasury as regards to your over-due inheritance payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly.
It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your inheritance payment is 100% genuine and hitch free from all facet and of which you have the lawful right to claim your funds without any further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the U.S. Department of Treasury office accordingly as we will be monitoring all their activities with you as well as your correspondence at all level.
We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Cathie C. Jones from Florida has already contacted them and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your inheritance fund valued at US$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred United States Dollars), but the U.S. Department of Treasury office did the wise thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring your funds to the Bank informations which was forwarded to them by the above named Lady, so that was the main reason why they contacted us so as to assist them in making the investigations.
To be very careful prior to these irregularities so that you don't fall victim to this ugly circumstance. And should in case you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Treasury, you are advised to STOP further contact with them in your best interest and then contact immediately the real office of the U.S. Department of Treasury only with the below informations accordingly:
NAME: Mr. Steven Terner Mnuchin
OFFICE ADDRESS: U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 2022.
In addendum, also be informed that we recently had a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury, in the person of Steven Terner Mnuchin with some of the top officials of the Ministry regarding your case and they made us to understand that your file has been held in a base depending on when you personally come for the claim. They also told us that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating the Executive Secretary and the U.S. Department of Treasury office.
In your best interest, any message that doesn't come from the above official email address should not be replied to and should be disregarded accordingly for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the U.S. Department of the Treasury office immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed so as to enable you receive your inheritance funds accordingly.
Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedures as regards to the transfer of your funds to you as designated. Also have in mind that the U.S. Department of the Treasury equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms. Once again, we will advise that you contact them with the above email address and make sure you forward to them all the necessary information which they may require from you prior to the release of your fund to you accordingly.
Should in case you need any more information in regards to this notification, feel free to get back to us so that we can brief you more as we are here to guide you during and after this project has been completely perfected and you have received your inheritance funds as stated
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.
Mr. Christopher A. Wray Jr,
New Director of FBI.