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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 07:09:14 -0300
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANT
I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANT
I'm Mrs. Merian Holland from Canada. I am married to Mr. Michael Holland , who worked with Canada embassy here in Cote d 'Ivoire for nine years before he died 2008. 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 (3.5 million USD) Three million Five hundred thousand United States dollars deposited in one bank here in Cote D'Ivoire. Presently, this money still with the Bank here in Capital of Cote D'Ivoire Abidjan.
Recently, after my illness, my doctor told me I would not last for the next eight months due to cancer problem, I said that in the next eight months will not be spreading this type of bone cancer and I
do not live again. But what bothers me most is my stroke sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church, organization or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church, organization or individual that will use this fund for orphanages, widows like me, the poor and needy, and also propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us understand that "Blessed is the hand that gives." I took this decision because I have no child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christain and I do not want my husband efforts to be used by unbelievers. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where to go. I know I will be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case a
nd I shall hold my peace ". I do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health and therefore, the presence of my husband's relatives around me always . I do not want my husband's relatives 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 where the funds deposited by my late husband for you to contact them directly. I also send you an authorization letter that will prove you the present beneficiary 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 lived a life of a worthy Christian.
Whoever wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful throughout your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to get
a response from you.
Thank you and God bless.
Yours in sincere,
Mrs. Merian Holland.