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:
- 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:
- "million us 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- 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)
- u.s. department of treasury. direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org dear beneficiary, this is to bring to your notice that (Citromail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ben Harris" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:32:28 +0100
U.S. Department of Treasury
Treasury Building 1500 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW Washington, D.C., U.S
contact the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Direct Email: email@example.com
This is to bring to your notice that the US Department of the Treasury
in affiliation with the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") has
been authorized to compensate 1,000 scam victims who have to be a
victim of internet scam.
The U.S Department of the Treasury has decided to pay you $5Million
U.S Dollars each through ATM card in order to restore this global
economy due to this COVID 19 Pandemic Virus hardship to the enviable
standard of respectability.
Your particulars were mentioned by one of the syndicates who was
arrested here in the United State by the FBI and the United States
secret service as one of the victims of their operations. You are
hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to him/her
or anyone for any reason as the United States secret service and FBI
is already on trace of the other criminals anywhere in the world,
This information should remain confidential till they are all
apprehended, other victims who have not been contacted can submit
their application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.
Contact our payment officer with below information:
Name: Thomas P. Freddo
He's the director of the Office of Financial Research (OFR). so you
are advised to provide your personal information for proper
(8) copy of id card or Driver License
You are therefore advised to contact him for your compensation and ask
him to release your ATM card worth $5Million US Dollars as your COVID
19 and Scam Victims Compensation fund to your residential address.
Contact this office immediately via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you send your details
to speed your payment.
Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy United States Department Treasury.