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:
- "required 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. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Santander Bank USA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 19:14:48 +0100
Subject: Urgent Contact me on WhatsAPP (+1(347)518-7318) now before the
delivery of your ATM card will be expired.
Welcome to the Santander Consumer USA Corporate Headquarters Address: 1601
Elm St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States, We have received your email which
dated to this office and its contents therein is well noted together with
As you are directed to contact me here on the email is because am the
Santander bank manager who was appointed to handle the funds ATM card
through DHL delivery to your home address.
Finally to avoid more delays, The ATM card delivery and re-activation will
cost you only $50.00 due to the government of Benin Republic has paid all
the required fee to deliver the ATM visa card to your home address accept
the $50 for the re-activation and you can only with $5000 daily from the
ATM card any ATM machine in your country or Worldwide.
So kindly go to any apple office and send itune card of $50 immediately
because it will be easy to pick and to enable the courier company move
today with your ATM card.
Urgent send the itune card now and remember to contact me on the whatsAPP
God Bless you
USA Santander Consumer Bank
Mrs.Sandra Jean Wright