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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: Karen Wright <>
Reply-To: Karen Wright <>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2016 01:28:45 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From The Hospital

With Due
Respect Beloved One,
I am Mrs
Karen Wright a widow suffering from serious lung and breast cancer for the pass
five years now. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and
it’s quite obvious that I won't live more than 3 months according to my
doctors. This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I
don’t want your pity but I need your trust. My late husband died in 2012 from
Heart attack, and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any
My late
husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some his businesses
and wealth what of £7.3million euro as the second wife without a child. The
doctor has advised me that I will not live for more than 3 months, so I have
now decided to spread all my wealth, to contribute mainly to the development of
charity in your country.
Am sorry if you are embarrassed by my mail,                
I found
your e-mail address in the web directory, and I have decided to contact you,
but if for any reason you find this mail offensive, you can ignore it and
please accept my apology.
This fund
is deposited with one of the bank here and i will like you to handle this
transaction on my behalf and distribute these funds yourself to charity. The
funds will be entirely being in your hands for management.
I hope God
gives you the wisdom to touch many lives that is my main concern and my dying
wishes which I want you to respect. 20% of this money will be for your time and
effort, while 80% goes to charity.
Yours faithfully,
Mrs Karen Wright

Anti-fraud resources: