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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: "martins" <>
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 17:53:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Treat Urgent

My Dear,My name is Mbeki martins. I want to ask you to quietly help and look fora reliable and honest person who will be capable to receive some amount ofmoney approximately Twenty Six Million United States Dollars in a foreignaccount. I am in the audit department of a local bank here in South Africaand during the course of our auditing for the period ended october 2003,Idiscovered a floating fund in an account opened in the Bank in 1998 andsince 2001 nobody has operated on this account. I quickly went through ourdata base and files, in the records I discovered that the owner of theaccount died without a (heir) hence the money is floating and if I do notremit this money out urgently it will be forfeited according to the laws ofSouth Africa since it is close to seven years of its dormancy. The owner ofthis account was a foreigner and owned an mining engineering firm in CapeTown.He died since 2001 and no other person knows about this account oranything concerning it except my
bank. It is true that the actual amountinvolved is 26M USD but all I want to do first is to move out about 10M USDfrom the principal into a safe foreigners account abroad, After the firsttransaction is successfully done, and I am sure you kept the money safelywithout cheating me out of it all, we shall apply for the rest of the funds.I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money can not beapproved to a local person here, but can only be approved to any foreigner,because the money is in US dollars and the former owner of the account was aforeigner too and the money can only be approved into a foreign account.Because the management of my bank is ready to approve this payment to anyforeigner who has the correct information of this account, and with myinfluence and position in the bank we can transfer this money to anyforeigner's reliable account, which you can provide with assurance that themoney will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country forsharing.
I will use my position and influence to obtain all legal approvalsfor onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearancefrom foreign exchange departments. I shall destroy all document oftransaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace to any place.If you can help me as I have requested,I will let you have some part of thefunds after the transfer as a gratification. We can negotiate that but thenwe must sign a binding agreement stating that on receipt of the funds youwill not try to cheat me or run away with the money.This way, I will relaxand be sure that you are with me. YOU are the first and the only one that Ihave contacted for this transaction, so please reply urgently so that I willknow what next to do. if you and I agree i will disclose the accountinformation to you for application and i will make the transfer and we meetface to face. I need your full co-operation to make this work fine. You canreply with the above e mail
account:(,Mbeki martins

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