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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" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 04:45:05 -0700
Subject: URGENT

Dear Friend,

Your personality motivated me after going through your profile and i decided to contact you. I am Prince Martins, i am a senior staff in file department in Nigeria Banking Corporation Actually I am here searching for a person of honor I can trust and use his information to claim the funds in the Bank where I work. A foreigner made the deposit coded to avoid any trace but eventually died with his family,leaving all the depository documents and information with me. As his account officer, I can not claim it alone without presenting a foreigner as the late depositor's next of kin.

I know that you do not know me or have ever seen me before but something in me told me you could be someone to be trusted.

I contacted you in this transaction, for our mutual benefit and forever lasting business relationship. Having made unsuccessful attempts upon my several inquiries to locate any of our customer's extended relatives. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contact you based on the fact you are a foreigner and there is no way I can lay claims over this funds since this project needs a foreigner to apply for the claim, I am still in active service and wish to retire only after completion of this transaction. the said amount involved is USD9.5M.

God in heaven knows I did not mastermind his death. I was only his account officer but I got to know almost everything about his family. I did all I could to locate his real relatives and was unsuccessful. It was after the unsuccessful attempts to locate his relatives that, I then came to remember his informing me of his early life and experiences.

Firstly, be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free, as all the original documents that will be needed in this transaction, ascertaining you as the bonafide beneficiary/next of kin to the deceased, will be duly and legally obtained in your name and favor. Please understand that I am an adult with family, only thinking of how to establish a legacy for our both families and that is exactly why I am contacting you in this business.

The deceased was a big customer of this bank, He operated a coded account with our bank before his death. You must understand that in the financial institution opportunities like this are common but not heard. People put their monies in financial institutions and some of these accounts are either coded or confidentially operated, therefore, when such people die what do you think that happens to these monies when nobody comes for their claims? Well, this is one of the numerous avenues monies are made within and amongst the financial institution, management and board of directors of the financial institute

To explain myself properly, I work with this bank and have worked here for several years. I have also witnessed so many claims and inheritances of this nature before, therefore, if I have this opportunity and throw it to the wolves, then I must be the most "foolish-man" that has ever lived. I have fully put everything in place and since this is an opportunity open to anybody, I do not see anything wrong in what I am doing, as long as I am not hurting who should not be hurt, period.

For being involved in this transaction, I have therefore resolved to offer you 40% of the total sum as gratification for your participation in this business. 60% will be for myself, Please, understand that I put so many things into consideration, before offering you this 40% and I do hope that it will be appreciated.

Upon the receipt of your response indicating your full interest in this transaction, I will be forwarding to you a draft of claim application form which you will carefully study, copy, complete and send to our bank. Please, for further clarification, feel free to get back to me or call me on
I await to hear from you so that I can tell you more.
Best Regards,


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