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: mrs ruth michael <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: mrs ruth michael <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 19:05:27 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Ones in the Lord
in the Lord,
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I'm Mrs. Ruth Michael
from Kuwait. I was married to you, Peter Michael. Who worked with the Kuwaiti
embassy in Côte d'Ivoire for 15 years before dying in 2010.
We were married for 13 years without a child. He died after a brief
illness that lasted only four days. Before we died, we were both strong
believers. Since his death I have decided not to remarry or have a child out of
my marriage home that the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive, he
deposited the $ 1.5 Million amount in a bank here in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's
economic capital for custody. Currently, my doctor has confirmed that I have
serious illness that is cancer problem.
What disturbs me most is my stroke. Haven has met my condition. I have decided
to donate this fund to a church or individual who will use this money in the
manner I am going to instruct here. I want a church that will use this fund for
orphanages, helping the widows, propagating the word of God And to Endeavor
that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us understand that the hand
that gives is blessed, I made that decision because I have no son who will
inherit this money and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I do not
want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers .
I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly
way. That is why I am making this decision. I'm not afraid of death so I know
where I'm going. I know that I will be in the Lord's bosom. Exodus 14 VS 14
says that you will fight my case and I will keep my peace, As soon as I receive
your reply, I will give you the Security Company contact here in Abidjan. I
want you and the church to always pray for me, because you are my pastor. My
happiness is that I have lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever wants to
serve the Lord must serve Him in spirit and truth.
Please be always pious throughout your life. Any delay in your response
will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same
purpose. Please assure me that you will act according to what I said here.
Waiting to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
His in Christ,
Ms. Ruth Michael.