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: Prisca Ousmane <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 4:33:30 +0900
Subject: Donation of Sister Prisca Ousmane for the work of our God,
Donation of Sister Prisca Ousmane for the work of our God,
Dear in the Lord
I am the sister Prisca Ousmane from Sierra Leone. I am married to Mr. Michelle Ousmane who worked with Sierra Leone embassy 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 only four days.
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 $ 3.5 million in a fixed deposit account here in Abidjan.
Recently, my doctor told me I would not last the next eight months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphans, widows, propagating the word of God and strive to maintain the house of God.
The Bible made us understand that "Blessed is the hand that gives." I took this decision because I have no child that will inherit this money and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I do not want my husband efforts to be used by unbelievers. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in a diabolical way. That's why I am taking this decision. I have no fear of death hence I know where I go. I know I will 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 do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I do not want to know about this development. Note
that the data I need to get the letter of authorization to test in the name legally to make the beneficiary of my fund. I would like to provide the following details in your reply to my mail.
1. Your full name
2. Your full address
3. Your age
4. Your occupation
5. Your Private number
With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your response and the information required above yours, I will give you the contact of the Bank in Abidjan. I also delivered a letter of authorization that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth.
Please always be prayerful throughout your life. Contact me on my email any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church for this same purpose. If I say that you will act accordingly as I have said here. Hoping to get a response.
Remain blessed in the Lord
Sister Prisca Ousmane.