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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Sister Elizabeth Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Sister Elizabeth Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:09:02 +0900 (JST)
Dearest in Christ,
I am Mrs. Elizabeth Williams from Kuwait. I am married to Mr. Jerry Williams who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for eleven years before he died in the year 2012. We were married for Eighteen years without a child. 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 US$5,8 million dollars in a Bank here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. Presently, this money is still in bank.
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 (An individual, Organization or a church) that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want An individual Organization or a church 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 husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's 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 Cote d'Ivoire. I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and your family to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd.
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.
Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Elizabeth Williams.
Note: Please any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.