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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",500,000" (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: Suzan Catim <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Suzan Catim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 18:17:40 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Hello Dear.
How are you and your family? I am Mrs. Suzan Catim from Solomon Islands. I am married to Mr. Philip Catim who worked with our Embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died We were married for eleven 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 $6,500,000 million united. State dollars. With a security company firm here. Now, I want you to do me a favour to receive this fund there in your country or any safer place. Base on my health condition, 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, organization or good person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church, organization or good person that will use this fund for orphanages, widows and other people including one of the nurses that God has used so mightily in taking care of me. And in the course of her help to my life, she has lost her job. It will be my almost desire to see even though that I did not make it, let this very young girl have a cost to full fill her future.
The Bible made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth".ltook this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians not even good at all because they are the one that are responsible for the death of my husband in other to have all my late husband properties and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by those that conspired for his death.
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 regarding this because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development and l knows that With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security Company here in Cote d' lvoire. I will also issue a letter of authorization to the security company that will prove you the present beneficiary of this money. I also want you, church or organization to always pray for me because the lord is my only 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. Pls any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another good person, church, organization for this same purpose. I will like to let you know that i have paid for all the accumulative bills for this.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your response immediately.
Thanks and Remain blessed in the Lord.
l remain yours sister in Christ.