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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Jane Karpov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 00:45:50 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Mrs.Jane Karpov,
My Name is Mrs.Jane Karpov, I am married to late Dr. Yu
ri Karpov who was an Oil Merchant and international businessman before h
e died in the year 2001 after a brief illness that lasted for only five
days. Before the Untimely death of my husband we were both born again Ch
ristians. When my late husband was Alive he deposited the sum of ($18,00
0,000.00 USD) with a Bank in UK whose name is withheld Until we open up
communication. Following my ill health, my Doctor told me that i may not
last for the next Couple Of Months due to My cancer problem. the one th
at disturbs me most is my inability to move Around and Having known my c
ondition I decided to donate this fund to a God fearing Person that will
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, according to
the desire of my late husband Before his death.I don't want a situation
where this money will be used in an ungodly Way. I am not afraid of deat
h Hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the Bos
om of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case a
nd I shall hold my peace".
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my he
alth hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. As s
oon as I receive your reply, I shall give you the contact of the Bank wh
ere you shall reach them
and i will also issue you a Letter Of Authorization from the High Court
Of Justice that will prove you to be a beneficiary of this fund. Any del
ay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another individual for th
is same purpose.
Please Endeavour to contact me with this email address: (Jane_Karpov@adm
Your Beloved Sister in the lord,