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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sarah Howard" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:16:56 +0930
Subject: Donation for the Lord
From: Mrs. Sarah Howard
I am Mrs. Sarah Howard, a Cayman Island national, I was married to Engr. Andrew Howard who worked with America Petroleum service company for nine years before he died in 2014. We were married for twelve years and the union unfortunately did not produce any offspring. Before his death we had given our lives to Christ and were living
according to the Word. A few weeks ago i was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor has informed me that i do not have much time to live. Presently I am practically invalid as the cancer has ravaged my body and i can feel my life slowly ebbing away. I do not
have much time to do the Lord's work but He will give me strength to see my last assignment through.
My husband, Engr. Andrew Howard,before his death deposited his life savings of approximately (USD$15.5 Million) Fifteen Million Five hundred thousand U.S. Dollars with a private bank KEY BANK, 6726 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA. 98203,USA. I need a church, christian individual or individuals who can continue the work in our stead, who will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here into-funding churches, orphanages, widows and propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained. Caring for the sick, the poor, and the downtrodden wherever they may be.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that gives. I took this decision because I don't have any child or next of kin who can inherit these monies. Though the internet is a seemingly unlikely place to find such individuals, I believe that the Lord hides jewels in the most unlikely places. It is not the means that is important but
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. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of our family lawyer who is going to furnish you with every necessary detail regarding this transaction.
Hoping to hearing from you. Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Sarah Howard