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:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Priceller Mbuto <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:30:04 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Re: Donation For God's Work...Get Back For More Details
Donation for God's work
My dearest In Christ,
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ our Lord, we have to worship our Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart, because we have determined to remain under the covering of his anointing, Obedience to his purpose and living a life that honours him will keep us under his hand of blessing.
My name is Mrs.Priceller Mbuto 62 years old of age from South Africa now undergoing medical treatment here in General Hospital here in cote d'ivoire, I am married to Late Dr.Johnson Mbuto,he worked with South Africa embassy for many years before he died in the year 2011 after a brief illness that lasted for only 2 days, We were married for 18 years without a child.
Before his death we were both born again Christian. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Ten million Five hundred thousand US Dollars ($10.500.000.00) in one of the famous bank here in cote d'ivoire. Presently, these funds are still in the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next 1 Months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate these funds to you, and I Strongly believe that you will utilise this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want you to use these funds to provide succour to poor and indigent persons, orphanages/Albinos and widows also for propagating peace in the universe, and to make sure that the house of God is maintained. Meanwhile as soon as the funds is transferred to you, You have to take 30% percent of the total funds for your personal use to support your family and business as well, and the rest 70% percent you will use it for this divine project to the glory of God, I want this to be one of my last good deeds on earth so that even if I die my soul will rest in peace.
I took this decision to donate this funds to you because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I don't want my husband's efforts hard earned money to be used by unbelievers nor to be misused or spent in the manner in which my late husband did not specify. This is the reason for taking this bold 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 don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my late husband's relatives 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 cote d'ivoire. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove and empower you as the present beneficiary of these funds in the bank. I want you to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Whosoever that wants to serve the Almighty must serve him with all his heart and mind and always be prayerful all through your life.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for an individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act according to specification herein. Hoping to hearing from you. Thank you and May the Almighty God bless you.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ.