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:
- 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: Wulff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 01:06:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Beloved One,
I am Mrs.esther wulff from Northern part of Namibia .I am married to late Rev. Thomson Wulff,who worked with Namibia Embassy in Ivory Coast for sixteen years before he died in the year 2003,after a brief illness that lasted for only five days; We were married for Twenty years with only Son (Fred)who later died in a motor accident.Before the untimely death of my husband,we were both born again Christians.
Since after his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. It is here in Abidjan my late husband before his death lodged this sum of money ($4.2m) in a bank.Recently,Following my ill health, my Doctor at St. Bernard Hospital Cocody,told me that I may not last for the next few months due to my cancer problem.The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a CHARITY 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.I want this fund to be used in Activities like,Orphanages, homeless, and Rehabilitation centers for WELFARE CARES and to endeavor that the fatherless and the ordinary man on the street is maintained. The holy book made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I dont have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives hates me and my husband and I dont want my husband efforts to be wasted. 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 bossom of the Almighty God. 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 hence the presence of my husbands relatives around me always.I dont 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 in Abidjan.I want you and the Charity organisation and the concern to always pray for me because the Almighty God is my strenght.
My happiness is that I lived a life of worthy of emulation . Whoever that Wants to serve the God must serve him in spirit and Truth.Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose.Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.