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 american 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)
- "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)
- "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: AA ZZ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: AA ZZ <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2015 01:56:49 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Greetings to you,
Greetings to you,
My greetings to you in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I am Mrs. Laura Kim Young Wiggins from United States of America. I am Married to Engineer. Young Wiggins, a Korean-America who worked at Ivorian oil Refinery Company in Cote d'Ivoire before he retired in the year 2012. He died in the middle of 2014 after a brief illness. Before his death we were both devoted Christians. We were married for 26 years without a child. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $6,600,000.00 Six million Six hundred thousand American dollars in one of the finance firm here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire for safe keeping. Presently, my Doctor confirmed to me that I have a terminal sickness which is cancer of the lung. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke illness which had defied every medical solution which I had been trying to cope with. Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a church or an individual that will utilize this money the
way I am going to instruct herein.
I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, helping the widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the gospel is preached to all nations to the best of human ability. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I do not want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers More over, if I die without willing out the fund for the purpose as stated above, the bank may confiscate it. I also do not 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 do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I do not want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact of the financial institution here in Cote d'Ivoire. I want you and the church 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 in Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein and again, due to the present condition of my health, I was warned by my doctor to avoid receiving or making any call. I have all the information of the deposit with me. As soon as I hear from you, if satisfied I will issue a letter of Authority to the finance company authorizing them that the fund has been willed to you and a copy of authorization will be forwarded to you contact me here for more details:
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,