fighting spam and scams on the Internet
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.
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 12:58:50 +0100
Subject: PLS ASSIST ME!
I wish to begin by way of introduction. I am Charles Masuku, the first and
only surviving son of late Marc Masuku one of the foremost and rich black
farmers in Zimbabwe recently murdered in the land dispute in my country.
Before the death of my father, he had given me the certificate of deposit
he used to deposit the sum of US$30.5 million (Thirty Million Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars) in one of the private security companies
in Europe, as family valuables, when he realized the looming dangers in
This amount was meant for the purchase of new machineries and chemicals
for the farms and also for the establishment of new farms in Swaziland.This
land dispute started when President Robert Mugabe introduced a new land
reform, which was particularly targeted at the rich white farmers and a
few black farmers (my father included). This resulted in the gruesome killing
of rich farmers(mainly whites) and the unlawful possession of their properties
by Mugabe?s war veterans, under the disguise of fighting for the interest
of the country.
It is against this background that I fled the country with my family, to
the Netherlands where we are currently seeking asylum.
I have decided to seek foreign assistance, as the Netherlands law prohibits
asylum seekers from operating bank accounts or involve in financial transaction
of any kind, hence this letter to you. All I need is your trustworthiness
to be able to entrust the above said amount and help me with investment
opportunities. My family?s survival depends on this money as we have virtually
lost all our assets.
There are two options, firstly, you can choose to accept 15% of the total
amount for your assistance or go into partnership for the proper investment
of the money in your country. We shall discuss in detail the modalities
involved if you can reach me via my confidential email account.
I await your reply through the above media, while I implore you to maintain
the absolute secrecy required to ensure a safe and hitch free transaction.
I shall furnish you with more details on request.