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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Williams Blessing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 08:11:32 +0100 (BST)
Subject: I am Mrs. Blessing Williams
I am Mrs. Blessing Williams, from Kuwait. I am married to late Mr. Edward Williams, who worked with Kuwait Embassy in Ghana for Twenty-Five years before he died in the year 2009, after a brief illness.
We were married for Eighteen years without any issue. Before the untimely death of my husband, we were both truly born again Christians. Since after his death I decided not to remarry again, since am almost getting old to have children and also very sick. When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of (US$6.050 M) (Six Million, Five Hundred FiftyThousand United States Dollars) in a General Trust Account with a prime bank in Ghana. Presently, this money is still with the bank.
Recently, my cancer illness have become so bad that I donât really know how long more I will have to live, following my health records, my Doctor had told me that I may not last till the next six months.
The worse part of it is that my cancer has been coupled with fatal stroke which has resulted to my inability to move around on my own. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Christian, or Christian organization (Church) that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, according to my desire and that of my late husband before his death.
Even if am no longer there to see this go on, I need you to promise me that you will surely, nor matter the Secom stance carry this out as I have stated below.
I want this fund to be used in Christian Activities like, Orphanages, Christian schools, and Churches, for propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained, to the best that you can. The Bible made us to understand that "The gift of a man makes a way for him. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this, and I donât want the efforts of me and my late husband to be wasted by unbelievers.
This is why I have taken 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". With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall make you contact the bank in Ghana. I will also issue you the documents 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 the 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.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Blessing Williams