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 united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 Ruth Ferenke <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mrs Ruth Ferenke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:57:39 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dearest in the Lord.
Â From: Mrs Ruth Ezekiel Ferenke
Dearest in the Lord.
PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO USE IT FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD.I am the above named person from Abidjan Cote D`Ivoire. I am married to late Mr Ezekiel Ferenke the owner and CEO of Royal Oil Ltd and Royal Construction company Ltd Cote D`Ivoire.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 Christians.Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of$9,000,000.00 ( U.S. Nine Million United State Dollars)with financial institution in Cote d I voire here. Presently, this money is still with the financial institution.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a church or individual that will use this to fund churches, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure 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 husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of
death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bossom 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,and because of 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 Financial institution in Ivory coast .
I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original- 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.Who ever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to hear from you soon.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs.Ruth Ezekiel Ferenke