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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Annabelle Kamani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Annabelle Kamani" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:14:27 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dearest In Christ.
Dearest In Christ.
am Mrs.Annabelle Kamani from Comoros Island.I am married to late Mr
Graham Kamani who worked with Comoros Island Embassy here in Abidjan
Ivory Coast for Twenty-Six years before he died in the year 2011 after a
brief illness that lasted for only five days. We were married for
Eighteen years with a daughter (Lilian)who later died in a car accident
on her way back home from school.
the untimely death of my husband,we were both born again
Christians.Since after his death I decided not to remarry or get a child
outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.Before the death
of my husband he left the sum of U$4,500,000,00(Four Million Five
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)with my name as the next of kin
and only legitimate wife.
my ill health, my doctor told me that I may not last for the next eight
months due to my cancer problem.The one that disturbs me most is my
stroke sickness.Having known my condition,I decided to donate this fund
to an individual or organization that will utilize this money for the
help of orphanage homes,christian schools,the help of widows,the less
privileges and churches for propagating the word of God,according to my
desire and my late husband before his death.
want this fund to be used in activities as I have stated.I took this
decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and
my husband relatives are all unbelievers and I don't want my husband's
efforts to be used by unbelievers.If you are willing to handle this
project let me know immediately and I will send you the necessary
information that will enable you claim the money
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,