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: "Mrs.Maria Han" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 09:02:33 +0000
Subject: I Greet You In The Name Of The Lord.
Dear Good Friend
I greet you in the name of the Lord.
I am Mrs. Maria Luis from the Solomon Islands. I am married to Mr. Johnson Han who was a contractor with the Government of Ivory Coast before he died on the 12th of August 2012. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Ever before his death we were both born again Christians and have sown into many ministries. Since his death, I decided not to remarry but feeling quite lonely if not the Lord who has been my partner and comforter.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2.5 Million with a Bank in Ivory Coast. Presently this money is still in the custody of the Bank in West African. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next five months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church, organization or good person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church, organization or good person that will use this funds to help the orphans, widows and other people that need financial assistance.
Using part of this money to provide facilities for God,s work, taking the gospel to greater height is my major reason for donating these funds out. The Bible made us to understand that"Blessed is the hand that giveth".l took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and it had been their wish to see my husband dead in order that they might inherit his wealth since we have no son.
These people are therefore not worthy of this inheritance. This is why I am taking this decision. Meanwhile, I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. It is only a sinner who's death is painful I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development and l know that With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in the Ivory Coast. I will also issue a letter of authorization to the bank that will prove you the present beneficiary of this money. I also want you to always uplift me in prayer.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in truth and faith, "serving him with all you have, knowing that naked we come and naked we must go" Contact me on the this email address and any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another good person, church,organization for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your response immediately.
Thanks and Remain blessed in the Lord.
Your Sister in Christ.