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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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. Vero John." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:29:15 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: MAY THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU.
From Mrs Veronica John
MAY THE PEACE OF THE LORD BE WITH YOU.
I am the above named person from Kuwait. I am married to Mr. Laurent Pascal John, who worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died. 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. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $500 Thousand (Five Hundred Thousand 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 terminal 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, Mosque or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church or Mosque that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
Therefore, the Bank said I should provide a name as the card holder, so they can load the Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars into the Visa Card with your name. Please if you can handle this charity project with the fear of GOD, then simply send me the below information immediately.I would be so much happy to see that my Inherited funds ($500.000 US Dollars) are properly used to help the less privileged and etc... Before flying to Ottawa, Canada for my surgery in no distance time according to my Doctor, as this will be a great relieve for me and my soul.
This is a huge responsibility, but I pray that God will give you the strength to handle it properly.Hence I will be flying to Canada in few hours, I have agreed with the bank to install the $500.000 USD into a Visa Card, then I will give you the password of the Visa Card so you can start withdrawing and supporting all the orphanages around your country.
Your Complete Names, your Residence Address, your country and State, your Telephone number, Your Age and other useful details about you.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. 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 husbandâs 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 husbandâs 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 with your information, I shall forward them to the Bank so they will get the Visa Card Ready. 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.
Get back to me as soon as possible for more informationâs, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Veronica John.