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419 Scam – The "Zimbabwean farmer / oppositional" scam

In this variant of the "419" Advance Fee fraud, the scammer claims to be someone persecuted by the authoritarian Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe (see "Zimbabwe history and politics"), either a son / daughter / widow of a farmer murdered by Mugabe's thugs or an opposition politician under house arrest and often in ill health. This person claims to have access to millions of dollars stored with a securities company in Europe or South Africa.

You are asked to help retrieve the funds and for your cooperation are promised a large percentage of the funds. Invariably you will be asked to contact a "lawyer" or the "securities company" (who happen to use only free webmail accounts or cellphone numbers for communication). They will ask for money to be wired by Western Union before the funds can be released to you. If you are reckless enough to do that, you will lose all money sent and will never see the promised but non-existent fortune.

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We have received numerous variants of the following scam:

Example #1:

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106
X-Mimeole: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1106
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 16:11:04 +0000
Return-Path: <>
Received: (cpmta 17264 invoked from network); 25 Feb 2005
08:12:25 -0800
Received: from (HELO
by ( with SMTP; 25 Feb 2005
08:12:25 -0800
To: emailaddress

Dear friend,
 This letter might come to you as a surprise as we have not met
before,but I believe that you would be compelled to help me after
going through the contents of this letter.
 My name is Mr Pater Lawson,a divorcee, I am a Zimbabwean. I am a
farmer in Zimbabwe.
 Basically, I was involved in Agricultural production,until
August (2003), when the government of Robert Mugabe decided to
seize all farm-land(s) owned by whites in Zimabwe (without
compensation). He (Robert Mugabe) did not stop at that; he also
went on to expel all White farmers in Zimbabwe.He implored the
services of his war veterans to undertake this seizure. The war
veterans have been accused (correctly) of being behind the
violent occupation of white-owned commercial farms in which an
estimated 70,000 farm workers have been displaced. At least, over
hundreds white farmers and black settlers have been killed since
the farm invasions began in February 2000.
 As at this momemt, most of us have grudgingly gone back to
Europe,while some (a few) of us are still in Zimbabwe.We have
decided that we must see this problem to the end. Although we
know that we are taking a great risk by staying here in Zimbabwe.
A the moment, our phone lines are bugged,and all our movements
are being monitored by Zimbabwes (Robert Mugabe4s)secret Police.
Therefore email is the safest means of communication for now.
 We (White farmers in Zimbabwe) have taken our case to the United
Nations,and even with the threats of sanctions and the subsequent
sanctions from the West against the Zimbabwean Authorities,
Robert Mugabe (The President of Zimbabwe) still remains adamant.
He is insisting that our farm land (some of which we bought with
our money and most of which We inherited from our fathers)
belongs to the (his) government of Zimbabwe.
 Anyway, as soon as I heard the rumour about the possible seizure
of Ourfarm land(s) and Our subsequent expulsion from Zimbabwe,I
immediately soldpart of my farm land and withdrew all the money I
had in Zimbabwean banks (Both savings and current account).
 Since I could not keep the money in Zimbabwe, I used the
services of a Diplomatic Courier Company to move this money
(registered as official documents) out of Zimbabwe to Europe.At
present, my money totalling US$28,750,000. (Twenty eight million,
seven hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars) is in
Europe and hopefully, it would be paid into an offshore account.
Can you help me? Are you trustworthy? Can you handle this money?
Are you capable of handling this money?
 If you can, please contact me 
 All you need to do is to claim this money from the Courier
Company. You will be required to contact the Courier Company that
moved this money (official documents) out of Zimbabwe and to
 All necessary particulars which can facilitate and enable you
claim the money on my behalf will be forwarded to you as soon as
your consent to  proceed is received.
 For your assistance, you will be entitled to 20% of the total
sum. You are also obliged to help/advise on the proper and most
convenient way of investing this money in your country, since
this money cannot be brought back in cash to the Country of
 Hopefully, You will consider this request and respond
positively. If you
 are still in doubt after the receipt of this mail, please do not
 to contact me and ask question(s) that might hinder your
decision on this matter.

 I await your favourable response.
 yours sincerely,
 Mr  Peter Lawson

WHOIS details of sending network (IP )

     inetnum: -
     remarks:      *******************************************************
     remarks:      * Please send abuse reports to  *
     remarks:      *******************************************************
     netname:      BT-ADSL
     descr:        IP Pools
     country:      GB
     admin-c:      BTOW1-RIPE
     tech-c:       BTOW1-RIPE
     status:       ASSIGNED PA
     mnt-by:       BTNET-MNT
     mnt-lower:    BTNET-MNT
     mnt-routes:   BTNET-MNT
     changed: 20031114
     source:       RIPE
     descr:        BT Public Internet Service
     origin:       AS2856
     mnt-by:       BTNET-MNT
     changed: 20030615
     source:       RIPE
     remarks:      ********************************************************
     remarks:      *  Please send abuse reports to  *
     remarks:      *                                                      *
     remarks:      ********************************************************
     address:      BT
     address:      Openworld
     address:      UK
     admin-c:      IT337-RIPE
     tech-c:       RJG3-RIPE
     nic-hdl:      BTOW1-RIPE
     mnt-by:       BTNET-MNT
     changed: 20030520
     source:       RIPE

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