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:
- "million 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Rania Hassan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 21:01:32 -0000
Subject: I am gald to be intouch with you, God bless you
Dear in the Lord,
I greet you, especially in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord am
your lady Rania Hassan from Republic of Kuwait, I am married to Mr. Amed
Hassan, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years
before his death in 2006, we were married for eleven years without a
child. He died after a brief illness that lasted only four days. Before
his death we both born again Christian. After his death I decided not to
remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is
When my husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($ 3.500 million
dollars) in a bank in Abidjan Cote d Ivoire 'West Africa. Currently, this
money is in the bank, recently my doctor told me not to run for the next
eight months due to cancer problem that worries me most and my stroke
sickness, Knowing my condition I decided to donate this fund to a charity
that will utilise this money as I will recommend it here
I want an organization that will use this fund for orphanages, schools,
churches, widows, promoting the word of God and try to make the house of
God to be neat The Bible make us understand that "Blessed are the hand
which gives" I took this decision because I do not have a child that? will
inherit this money and my husband's family are not Christians and do not
want my husband's effort to be used by unbelievers.
I do not want a situation where this money will be used in a godless why I
am taking this decision. I fear not death, so I know where I'm going I
know I'm going to be in the bosom of the Lord Exodus 14 vs 14 says that
"The Lord will fight my case and I hold my peace," I don 't need any
telephone communication in this regard because my health hence the
presence of my husband's relatives around me always and I did not want
them to know about this development, With God all things are possible. As
soon as I get the answer I will give you contact of the bank in Abidjan
Cote d Ivoire' West Africa,
I will also issue a letter of authority that will prove that you are the
beneficiary of this fund from the Ministry of Justice here in Ivory Coast,
"I want you and the Church always pray for me, because you are my
shepherd. My happiness is that I live a worthy life of Christian, he who
wanted to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and in truth. Please
always pray for all his life Contact with me on this email any delay in
response will give me room in sourcing another church, for the same
As i am ending this race without any family or child, i want you to assure
me that you will take 40% of the money and give 60% to the orphanages home
in your country for my heart to rest in peace. immediately you receive
May God bless and give you strength to carry out my last wish as i told
you. Reply me through my email address: email@example.com
Yours fairly friend,
Madam Rania Hassan