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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Agatha Adams <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 10:37:03 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Most holy greetings from Mrs. Agatha Adams
Most holy greetings in the name of God and lord our savior,I am Mrs.Agatha Adams from Bolivia , I married to Mr. Francis Adams, who was an exporter of antiquities based in Abidjan Cote d Ivoire, we were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only two weeks.Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home because of the love i have for him. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2.5.Million in one of the Finance Security Company here in Abidjan Cote d Ivoire for safe keeping.
Presently, my Doctor confirmed to me that I have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.Heaven known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a Christ believer that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein according to Proverbs 22:9,Matthew 6:3.
I want a believer that will use this fund for, orphanages, helping Deaf homes , propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. For Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that gives. I took this decision because I dont have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I dont want my husbands 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 the presence of my husbands relatives around me always for I dont want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact of the Finance Security Company here in Abidjan. I want you and your family 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. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another born again for this same purpose.Please assure me that you will do accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply soon through my private emailing address firstname.lastname@example.org
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Agatha Adams