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 united states 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 "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Samantha Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:08:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Greetings to you
Greetings to you,
Good day, I am sorry to take your time and to disturb you. I am Mrs Samantha Solomon ,from Kuwait.I am married to late Mr Eric Solomon, who worked with Kuwait Embassy in Ivory Coast for Twenty-Six years before he died in the year 2002,after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. We were married for Eighteen years with a duaghter (Lilian)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 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 (US$7.8 M )(Seven Million Eight hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in a General Trust Account with a prime bank in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire . Presently,this money is still with the bank.
Recently,Following my ill health, my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next eight 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 Christain organization (Church) or individual beleiver that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein,according to the desire of my latehusband before his death.
I want this fund to be used in Christain Activities like,Orphanages, Christain schools, and Churches for propagating the word of God and to endeavor 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 don't 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 don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives 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 in Abidjan . I will also issue you the documents that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund.
I want you and the members of your Church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard. 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. 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.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Samantha Solomon.