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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: "Mr.Ian Martin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 12:02:52 -0700

World Bank Assisted Program
Directorate of International Payment and Transfers
United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017, USA.
Attn: Beneficiary,
                                                         (INTERNATIONAL FUNDS TRANSFER/AUDIT UNIT)
This is to inform you that the International Community has received series of Complaints from Beneficiaries who are yet to receive their outstanding Contract/Inheritance Funds. The International Community has investigated this matter and was dismayed by their discovery. It was discovered that some Corrupt Government Officials had the intention of diverting your Funds to their private Accounts prior to the intervention of the International Community.
The investigation was carried out with combined effort of the Transparency International (TI) London,United Kingdom and a recovery of some Payment Files which have not been approved for payment from the Offices of the Corrupt Government Officials was made which yours was inclusive. Your Payment File that was recovered contains a Letter purportedly written by you stating that you have willingly forfeited your Contract/Inheritance value of US$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand dollars only).
To resolve this hopeless situation, the United Nations has been authorized to handle your Payment File and based on our recommendation, your Outstanding Contract/Inheritance Funds have been credited into our Paying Bank Escrow Account in your Favor.
You are hereby advised to contact the remittance director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Enoch Ubani via e-mail ( to confirm that you actually wrote that Letter forfeiting your Funds or to indicate your interest in receiving your fund base on the new development to ensure that you finally receive your fund. More so, you are to furnish Mr. Enoch Ubani with the below information for the processing of your Payment:
(1) Full Names
(2) Residential Address
(3) Telephone Number
(4) Occupation
(5) A valid form of identification.
You are advised to fully co-operate with Mr. Enoch Ubani to facilitate the release and immediate payment of your Funds.
Your response to this e-mail will be forwarded to him at once.
Mr.Ian Martin,
Special Representative of the Secretary-General,
United Nations,New York.

Anti-fraud resources: