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:
- "million 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)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Office of Finance and Treasury <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 04:49:13 +0100
District of Columbia
Office of Finance and Treasury
Unclaimed Fund and Property Unit
1101 4th St SW, Suite W800-B
Washington DC 20024
Telephone & Whatsapp (202) 794 5034
Email : email@example.com
My Name is Phillip M. Gabriel and I work for the Department of Financial
Services Bureau of Unclaimed Fund REGULATIONS here In Washington D.C, U.S.A
I found out that You have an unclaimed sum of money that was suppose to be
remitted to you has showed up at my office, maybe due to some unforeseen
circumstance that didn't allow you to finish your transactions home or
abroad, so I took it upon myself to get in touch with you, before it will
be forfeited as you still have the chance to claim yours
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA)
facilitates collaboration among administrators in their efforts to reunite
unclaimed property with the rightful owner. As the foremost authority on
unclaimed property, NAUPA in alliance with the (UN) United Nations will
lead a coalition of administrators to reunite all recovered unclaimed fund
and property with the rightful owners
Currently, States, Federal agencies and other organizations collectively
hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits, which come from
a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings,
unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits, seizures
for third party benefit, legal financial transactions, like lotto winnings,
Inheritance claims that was abandon by individuals over skepticism etc. It
was however ascertained that you were supposed to receive a sum of $12.5
million dollars beneficiary, kindly email this office for claims:
For more info please read:
And get back to me for more information on how to claim your funds before
it's marked unclaimed.
Phillip M. Gabriel
Director of Unclaimed Property/fund