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: Catharine Alves <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Catharine Alves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 21:28:25 +0900 (JST)
Beloved in Christ.
I bring peace and love to you from God and our lord Jesus Christ. It is by the grace of God that I received Christ, Having known the truth, I had no choice than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of Gods mercy and glory upon my life.
I am Mrs. Catharine Alves; I'm 68 years old without a child, I the wife of (Mr.Pierre Djédji Alves) from Estonia , My husband worked with the Estonia government in Ivory Coast West Africa for eleven years before he died in the year 2012. We were married for twenty-seven years without a child. My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry 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$ 1.800.000. 00) (One Million Eight Hundred Thousand dollars) with Access Bank Ivory Coast. Presently, this money is still with the bank,
Recently my doctor told me that I would not last for the next four 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 a honest person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, I want a honest person that will use this fund to less-privileges like, orphanage, disabled people, schools, churches, widows, propagating the word of God in your country
I will also issue you an authority letter that will proved you the present beneficiary of this fund from the Ministry of justice here in Ivory Coast, 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 truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person or any organization for this same purpose,
For this purpose I want you to send your full information such as:
(1) Your full name:
(2) Your address:
(6) Your photo
I will be looking forward to hear from you
May Almighty God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish. Pray for me always.