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:
- 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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: VERONICA JOHN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 10:09:20 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Mrs Veronica John
>From Mrs Veronica John
DEAREST ONE IN CHRIST
My Private Email Address: email@example.com
I am the above named person from Kuwait. I am married to Mr Bertram John, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2005. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $6.5 Million (Six Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.
Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I donât have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I donât want my husbandâs efforts to be used by unbelievers. I donât want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.
I donât need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husbandâs relatives is around me always I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Contact me on the above e-mail address for more informationâs, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Veronica John.