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: "Solange P. Philip" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 23:26:17 +0000
Subject: Dear Beloved in Christ
Good Day Dear,
How are you doing today? I am Mrs Solange P. Philip. from United Kingdom, I
married to Mr. Kenny A. Philip from Toronto Ontario who worked with
Canadian Embassy here in Cote dâIvoire for nine years before he died in the
year 2014. We were married for twenty five 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 $3.2 Million in a
bank here in Cote dâIvoire, so Recently my DOCTOR told me that I would not
last for more time due to cancer problem. Having known my condition, I
decided to donate this fund to an Orphanage home or good Christian that
will utilize the fund in a good way, a person that will use this fund for
orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the
house of God is maintained.
l took this decision because I donât have any child that will inherit this
money and my husband relatives are not Christians not even good at all
because they are the one that killed my husband in other to have all my
late husband properties and I donât want my husbandâs efforts to be used by
unbelievers. I donât want a situation where this money will be used in an
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 peaceâ.
With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall instruct my lawyer to contact you.
I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present
beneficiary of this fund. I want you 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.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated here in.
Hope to receive your response immediately.
Thanks and Remain blessed in the Lord.
Mrs Solange P. Philip