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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (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: Mariam Coleman <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mariam Coleman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 10:06:39 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Donation From Mrs Mariam Coleman
Dear in Christ,
I am Mrs. Mariam Coleman from Kuwait. I am married to Mr. Lobi Coleman who worked with Kuwait embassy here in Ivory Coast for nine good year before he died in the year 2002.
We were married for many years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. 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 $(2.8 Million ) USD Two million Eight hundred thousand in a Finance Security Company here in Abidjan.Recently,my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or a God fearing person 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 endeavor 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 don't have any child that will inherit this money and my late husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my late husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers.
I don't want a situation where this money will beused 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 don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives are 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 relevant documents that will legalize you to have access over this fund.I will also issue you an affidavit that will proove you the present beneficiary of this fund in the Finance Security Company.I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard.
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 and pray to God to forgive me my sins.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another church or a God fearing person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Your's Sister In Christ,
Mrs. Mariam Coleman.