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:
- "activation fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Sandra Jean Wright" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 11:38:11 +0100
Consumer USA Corporate Headquarters
Address: 1601 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States
Attention:ATM Visa card owner/Beneficiary.
This message is from the Santander Consumer Bank United State of
America 1601 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States, We believed that
you got our previous email since 2 months and this is the second times
we are informing you that government of Benin Republic has alert our
bank here with sum of $3.500.000.00 USD which the instruction to issue
an ATM visa card from our foreign bank and ship it to your home
address and through the check we received from the Presidency office
in Benin Republic it has been stated that it is your winning award
compensation since 2008 which you are unable to claimed due to African
banks delays you,
Finally after our bank verification we found out that you are really
owner of the said amount of the compensation worth sum $3.500.000.00
USD and Benin Republic office of presidency has paid all the fees to
release the funds to you base on the ATM card agreement therefore the
only fee you have pay is $25 for the activation of your ATM card
with your full detail to enable you cash $5,000 daily from the Debit
Send us your full details to activate your ATM visa card on your
details and do not forget to send the activation fee $25
immediately because we are not allowed to deduct it from the amount on
your compensation ATM card,
Fill below now.
Your Full name:____________
Your Home address:__________
Your Id card attached:________________
You advised to send this information immediately today with payment
$25 because we need to process it immediately as we advised not to
Send your details to our whats App below
God Bless you
USA Santander Consumer Bank
Mrs.Sandra Jean Wright