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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Ruth Benson <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mrs Ruth Benson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:13:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Madam Ruth Benson (Charity Work)
DearestOne, With dueRespect and Humanity I write to donate and hand over some fund to you forcharity work like, orphanages, hospitals, schools, widows, less privileges. Iam Madam Ruth Benson; I am 58yrs old, from Kuwait based in Ivory Coast with mylate husband. I am married to Late Mr. Jean Benson who was until his deathworked with Oil Company (PETROCI) Cote dâIvoire; we were married for many years without a child.I am now very sick,after going through some medical checkup my doctor told me I would not last thenext eight months due to Colon Cancer.Though Idon't know you or met you before but I believe that God will work through youin accomplishing his will. I want you to always remember me in your dailyprayers because of my upcoming Cancer Surgery.The sum of(US$2.8M) Two million eight hundred thousand dollars deposited in a FinanceSecurity firm here in Abidjan, Ivory Coast capital by my late husband.Presently this money is still in the Vault of the firm. Having known mycondition I decided to donate this money to any Individual, NGOs, GovernmentOrganizations, Farmers, that will use this fund for orphanages, hospitals,schools, widows, Less privileged, building churches or Mosque.Â As soon asI receive your massage in acceptance of working with this charities mentionabove, I will give you more details and the contact of the Finance Securityfirm here in Abidjan Ivory Coast. Pleaseassure me that you will act accordingly as I have Stated herein. Expecting toreceive your re-assuring reply,Â Remainblessed in the Lord.YoursSister,Madam RuthBenson.Â