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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rita Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Rita Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:00:17 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Mrs Rita Williams
N[38 Rue Des Martyrs Cocody
Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
DEAREST ONE OF GOD
I am the above named person from Kuwait . I am married to Mr David Williams, 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.
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 $2. 5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in suspense account.
Presently, the fund is still with the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have serious sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or 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, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that givet. I took this decision because I donât have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I donât want my husband efforts to be used by unbelievers. I donât 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 donât need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband relatives is 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 .I await your soonest response with your full information, example.
(1}Your full name ------------------
I will use the above information to obtain an authorization letter that will legally and officially approve you as the new beneficiary of this fund from the Federal Ministry of Justice Cote D ivoire . I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Remain blessed in the Lord
Take care, Yours Sister in Christ
Mrs Rita Williams