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 Sonia Rubah <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2019 02:25:31 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Beloved
Dear God's Select,
I know this contact may comes as a surprise to you, I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears In my eyes and great sorrow in my heart as I desired to find someone from a far country for personal reasons, it's true we don't know each other but decided to tell you this because I don't have any other option as I was touched to contact you after I searched and found your email on the internet, My Name is Mrs Sonia Rubah and I am contacting you from my country France, Iâm married to late Engr. Jerome Rubah who worked as a seasoned contractor in Cote DâIvoire for nine years before he died in the year 2015 and we were married for eleven years without a child.
He died after a brief illness that lasted for only six days. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of U$2.8m (two million eight hundred thousand dollars) with a Global Security Consultant Company in Abidjan the capital city of Cote DâIvoire, my husband made this money available for exportation of Gold from Cote DâIvoire mining before his death and Presently this money is still in the Security Company waiting for me to come forth or my approval for proper legal process to release it to anyone under my command, I have already informed the Company about my inability to travel down there because of my sickness, because recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem and I am about to undergo a serious surgery of which I donât know if I will survive it or not, the one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness and throat problem, having known my condition I decided to hand over this money to any individual who can use it to take care of the less-privileged people, I really want you to utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, I want you to take 25% of the money for your personal use While 75% of the money will go to charity" people in the street and helping the orphanages and just to endeavor that the house of God is maintained Am doing this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because these sicknesses have suffered me so much.
I grew up as an Orphan and I don't have anybody as my family member except my late husbandâs family and relatives that has been squandering my late husband assets and properties in unnecessary things of life since his death. So as soon as I receive your respond I shall give you the contact of my late husband's lawyer in Cote D'Ivoire who will help you process the documents that will approve you the present beneficiary of the money before the Company can release the money to you and I will also inform the director of the Company about you as the person I have chosen to receive the money on my behalf.
Yours Sister in the Lord,