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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Anna Elbaff." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2019 13:31:01 +0000
Subject: From Mrs. Anna Elbaff.
Dearest in the Lord,
I am Mrs. Anna Elbaff, a widow suffering from long time illness (Cancer). I am married to Mr. Albert Elbaff who worked with Bahrain embassy in Ivory Coast. We were married for Eighteen year 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 US$ 2. 600.000.00 (Two Million Six Hundred thousand Dollars) in a bank here in Ivory Coast, presently this money is still in bank.
Recently my doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund. I want an individual, Organization or a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, hospitals, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth". I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. With God all things are possible.
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 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. Please reply immediately via my private Email address ( email@example.com )
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank, I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and your family to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein and please always be prayerful all through your life.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Mrs. Anna Elbaff.