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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. flora luck" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. flora luck" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:39:46 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dearest in the lord,
Dearest in the lord,
I have a proposal for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honor against your will. Your profile pushed me to send you this mail;
I am Mrs. Flora Lucky, from Kuwait. I am married to Mr. Lucky Awuti who 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 child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$4.8million dollars in one of the security firm here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. Presently, this money is still in the custody of the security firm. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next six 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 a charity organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want an organization that will use this fund for orphanages, school and ,widows.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money. This is why I am taking this decision, And I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health,
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the security firm here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I beg you and your organization to always pray for me.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing of another organization or good person for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Thanks yours sister in Christ
Mrs Flora Lucky