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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Sandra Hills <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 03:51:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Donation From Mrs. Sandra
Dearest One in the lord,
I am Mrs Sandra Hills from Kuwait, I am married to Mr. Fred Hills who worked with Kuwait embassy here in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days 2006. 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 (USD$3M) Three Million U.S. Dollars in a general trust account with a Bank here in Abidjan, Cote d'lvoire West Africa.
Recently, following my ill health my doctor told me that i will not last for the next Eight months due to my cancer problrm. He said that there is going to be spread of this cancer to my bones and i will not live again, but the one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness that affecting my sight.
Having known my condition i decided to donate this fund to a Church, Individual or Organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein according to the desire of my late husband before his death.
Presently, this fund is still in the Bank. I want this fund to be used in liberation work Activities like, help to Orphanages, and Christian schools, widows and up keeping of the Churches and 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 don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers. I dont 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 vs 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I dont need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health and hence the presence of my husband's relative's around me always and when i try to speak it leads to a serious coughing out blood. With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the details on how to contact the bank directly for onward transfer. I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you as the present beneficiary of my funds. I want you and your family to always pray for me but 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, 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. Sandra Hills.