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:
- "hundred thousand u.s dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Anita Boka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:59:46 -0400
Subject: DIVINE CALL.
Mrs. Anita Boka .
Beloved in Christ ,
Greetings in name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs. Anita Boka, 69 years
old widow & a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of
the blood (Leukemia According to my doctor my condition is critical and I
might not survive.
Although as a Christian, I believe God and I know that I will not die, but
will live to declare the glory of God. My late husband (Dr. Felix Martins
Boka) and my only son were killed during the (ABIDJAN-BOUAKE) Crisis some
Our Lord Jesus Christ is my only comforter.
I have the sum of Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars ($6.5M)
the fund is presently deposited with a Bank here in Abidjan for security
reasons and all the documents concerning the fund are in the custody of my
I inherited the money from my late husband who was an industrialist and
international businessman. I have prayed concerning this donation for
God's guidance and if in your heart you genuinely and faithfully desire-to
use this fund for the propagation of God's work in any form whether for
charity, ministry evangelical work, building a Clinic, school, orphanage,
library and drilling of water for the orphans, local community, widows,
Old Aged, and people living with HIV AIDS who can not afford to pay for
health, school and foodstuff or otherwise in relation to God's work, do
get in-touch with me for further arrangements with my lawyer on how you
will receive my Charity donation.
God bless you once again and as you receive, give and give God all the
Glory. My obligation is to do the right thing; the rest is in God's hands.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the
house of the LORD all the days of my life. Psalms 27:4, 8-9.
Remain blessed in the Lord
Yours in Christ ,
Mrs. Anita Boka .