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:
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: DAVID LUCKY <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2021 14:31:32 +0100
Hello, This is to inform you that we the Santander bank USA has
finally issued all the necessary documents to complete your funds
compensation transfer here amounted at $3.500.000.00 But the USA
government has sign that after this week the funds will be transferred
to USA government account to help the orphanage due to your delay to
pay for the reactivation fee $200 ....So I personally know that you
may be lack money to pay the $200 so I decided to know if you can be
able to send only $25 gift itunes card because I got my salary which
remains only $175at my hand to assist and make sure that you received
your funds either
ATM CARD OR Bank transfer to your account, Urgent reply now because I
know that after tomorrow the funds will be finally cancel.
GOD BLESS YOU
USA SANTANDER BANK
Mr DAVID LUCKY