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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Mariam Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Mariam Ali <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2016 22:14:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Assalamu Alaikum.
I am Mrs. Mariam Ali from Abidjan the capital of Ivory Coast. I am married to Late Mr. Ali of blessed memory who was a well known cocoa dealer in Abidjan for throughout his life before he died in the year 2010. We were married for 11 years without a child.
Before his sudden death we were devoted Muslims When my late husband was alive he packaged the sum of 1.Million Eight Hundred Thousand dollars ($1.800.000.00 USD) Deposited in one of the prime bank here in my country. As a result of high rate of conflict going on in this country as of then,
Presently this money is still with the Bank in my country and I am very
sick from cancer fibroid and tumor that I may not last till the next two months according to my doctor so I want to donate to a Muslims organization or individual who will use it to work for Allah and I have chose you after going through your profile.
I want this money to be shared amount the less privileged since I do not have a child to inherit it and my late husband relatives are all Non-believers and I don't want my husbands heard earn money to be used by unbelievers.
Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with Allah the most holy and the most merciful.
It is a very important confidential massage that I will like to tell you more about it so get in touch with me so that I can fully detail you what I choose you for and as well give you a little knowledge on how to achieve it.
Any delay in your respond will give me room to seek for another Muslims organization or individual for this same purpose.
Until I hear from you my dreams lay subsequently on your shoulders
I am waiting to read from you soon.
Your Sister in Allah
Mrs. Mariam Ali