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)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rita Michelle <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 18:24:44 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Donation From Rita Michelle
Donation From Rita Michelle
NO 38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
DEAREST ONE OF GOD
Calvary greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I'm Mrs. Rita Michelle from Kuwait. was married to Mr. Michelle Gilbert, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died last year. We were married for eleven years without a child. My husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death, we are born again Christians.
My dear, I know you're surprised to receive this letter, but as a son of the living God, you should know that our ways are not His ways. The Bible tells me that works in many ways and it all works together for good to those who believed in Jesus Christ. Baby, it's also the leader of the Holy Spirit of God that I have chosen you out of obedience and love to meet the desire of my late husband, which I have argued for the glory of God I understand that this benevolence is in fulfillment of desire and the decision of my late husband which I am sure to update.
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 $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.
Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour 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 dont have any child that will inherit this money and my late husband relatives are not Christians and I dont want my late husband efforts to be used by unbelievers. 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 bosom of the Lord. 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 husband relatives is 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 here in Abidjan . 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 that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Send me your information.
Your full name....................................................
And you telephone ...................................................
Contact me on the above e-mail address for more information may delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,