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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "FROM MRS RUTH KELLY, PLEASE GET BACK TO ME" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 03:24:44 +0100
Subject: FROM MRS. RUTH KELLY, PLEASE GET BACK TO ME
Dear in Christ,
FROM MRS RUTH KELLY
I am Mrs. Ruth Kelly from Kuwait. I am married to Mr Richard Kelly. He
worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he
died in the year 2011. We were married for eleven years without a
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 $2.5.Million
(Two Million Five hundred thousand U.S. Dollars) in one of the
international Banks here in Abidjan. Recently, my Doctor told me that
I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem.
The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my
condition I decided to donate this fund to Christian good that will
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want
somebody 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 plenty of relatives are not Christians and I
don't want my our efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don't want a
situation where this money will be used 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 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
Abidjan,and you've to contact them for onward transferring of the fund
to your destination.
I will also issue you an authority 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 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. Contact me on the
above e-mail address and any delay in your reply will give me room in
sourcing another church 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.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Ruth Kelly