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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found 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: Ladonna Garner <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2020 10:29:45 +0100
Subject: De Mme Ladonna Garner.
From Mrs. Ladonna Garner.
Hello My Beloved One In Christ.
I greet you with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ it is true that
this letter may come to you as a surprise. Nevertheless, I humbly ask
you to give me your attention and hear me well. My name is Mrs.
Ladonna Garner from Israel. I am married to Mr. James Ladonna who
worked with our Embassy in Ivory Coast (Cote Dâivoire) for a period of
16 years before he died.
We were married for 25 years without a child before he died after a
brief illness. Since his death I decided not to remarry due to my
religious belief. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum
of US$6.5m (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United State American
dollars) with a Bank in Cote D'ivoire. Presently this money is still
in the custody of the Bank in Cote dâIvoire recently, my Doctor told
me that I would not last for the next Four months due to cancer
Having known my condition I decided to donate this money to churches,
organisation or good person that will utilise this money the way I am
going to instruct herein.
I want you to use this money for churches, Charity organisation,
orphanages, widows and other people that are in need. l took this
decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money .
Moreover, my husband relatives are not close to me since I devolop a
Cancer problem and it had been their wish to see me dead in order to
inherit his wealth since we have no Child. These people are not worthy
of this inheritance. This is why I am taking this decision.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
ill-health. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the
contact of the Bank in Cote d'ivoire where this money is deposited. I
will also issue a letter of authorisation to the bank that will prove
you the present beneficiary of this money. I also want you to always
put me in prayer.
Any delay in your reply may give me room to look for another good
person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act
accordingly as I stated herein.
Thanks and Remain blessed.
Yours sister in the Lord,
Mrs. Ladonna Garner