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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Lilian Akre <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 20:33:07 +0100 (BST)
Subject: My Dear,
>From Mrs. Lilian Akre,
My name is Mrs Lilian Akre a nationality of Gambia I am married to late Mr.Wilson Akre who worked with Gambia embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the month October 2010.We were married for twenty years with a child. He died after the illness that lasted for long four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians. When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of $4.5Million (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with one of good banks here in Cote d Â¤â¢Ivoire . Presently, this money is still with the bank.
Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct him. I want a person or church that will use this fund to churches, orphanages, research centres and widows propagating th e word of Go d and to ensure that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that gives. I took this decision because I have a child that will inherit this money but my son can not carry out this work only himself because of his age.
I and my late husband decide to use some of the money to work for God and live some for our son to have a better live. Our son is just 17 year old now and been grow up in Africa , he have low maturity and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my family hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going to. 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 want your telephone communication in this regard because of my health condition my Doctor told me to avoid receiving telephone call and also because of the presence of my family relatives around me alw ays .I don't want any of my husband family relatives to receive this money. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall inform you all the necessary requirement you have to send to me so that I can go to the bank to officially present you as the actual person that I have directed to handle and manage this money on behalf20of my family and also give you the contact of the Finance/bank so that you can go ahead and contact them.
I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the new benefic iary 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 live 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 for a church or Christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here.
Expecting to hearing from you, Remain blessed in the name of the Lord. I am waiting for your response.
Mrs. Lilian Akre