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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Maryalice Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 09:26:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Donation For The GOD Works !!! From Mrs.Maryalice Williams.
Donation For The GOD Works !!! From Mrs.Maryalice Williams.
Abidjan, Cote D'ivoire.
God will grant you the willingness and interest to diggest this humble narrations though it might be so surprise and strange to believe my story but i knew by the reason of the almighty you will humbly understood and accept to proceed with my proposal though we have not met or seen eachother before.
My name is Mrs.Maryalice Williams a widow to Late Dr.Johnson Williams who was a competent business man here in Abidjan Cote d'ivoire, We were married for many yrs without any child till his death in October 2005 after a brief illness. Due to the promise which i revered to him on the alter at the day of our church wedding i decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which is against the holy bible.
My happiness is that my late husband lived a life of a true & worthy Christian and he has this plan before his death which he pleaded with me to appropriate it to accomplishment. He took this decision with me to use this fund in building an orphanage in his name that will accommodate thousand's of children, and also to use part of this fund in helping the less fortunate and to spread the gospel of the lord to the remote places of the world.
He made this deposit of $( 2.7 Million )USD Two million Seven hundred thousand in a Finance Security Company here in Abidjan . Recently, my Doctor told me that i would not last for the next 5 months due to cancer & stroke illness.
Having known my condition i decided to seek for a competent and reliable God fearing person or church to entrust this fund to utilize this fund the way i narrated above as my late husband desired.
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 late husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my late 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 don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives are around me always. i don't want them to know about this
As soon as i receive your reply i shall give you the relevant documents that will legalize you to have access over this fund. I will also issue you an affidavit that will proove you the present beneficiary of this fund in the Finance Security Company. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd.
My happiness is that i and my late husband 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 and pray to God to forgive me my sins. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another church or a God fearing person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as i stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Your's Sister In Christ,