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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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Fraud email example:

From: "JOE OKARO" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 11:54:37 +0200


I know you will be surprised to hear from me since you don't know me
personally. I am MR.MR.JOE OKARO, the son of MR.SIMBA OKARO,a former minister who is presently on house arrest in Zimbabwe.
I got your contact through your country's Information Exchange in my search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very confidential transaction, which involves a transfer of fund into a foreign account and I decided to write to you.
The war veterans of the ruling Government of President Robert Mugabe for their alleged support murdered my late brother among the few black Zimbabwean rich farmers in cold blood for the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC),which is against Mugabe's rule.
The land problem arose when Mugabe introduced a New Land Act that
wholly affected the rich white farmers and some blacks vehemently condemned the " modus operadi" adopted by the government.
This resulted to rampart killings and mob action by the war veterans
and thugs. More than 78 people have so far been killed. Heads of
Government from the West, especially Britain and United States of America have voiced their condemnation of Mugabe's Land Act. Subsequently, South Africa Development Community (SADC) has continuously supported Mugabe.
It is against this background that my family and I who are currently in South Africa have decided to transfer this money out of Africa as we no longer feel safe anymore and want to transfer this money to a foreign country where we can establish ourselves.Just before my father's arrest, he took me to Johannesburg, South Africa to deposit the sum of 20,000.000.00 with a security and finance company, as he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. This money was deposited in a box with the finance company.
As the eldest son of my father, I am saddled with the responsibility
of seeking for genuine foreign account where this money could be
transferred into without knowledge of my government who are tactically freezing our family's wealth and the South African government seems to be playing along.
I am faced with the dilemma of investing the money here since both
countries have almost the same history. More so, the South African Foreign Exchange does not allow such investments.
As a business person whom I have to entrust my future and that of my
family, I must let you know that there is no risk and the nature of your business does not necessarily matter. Therefore, should you be able and willing to help me and my family, we are willing to discuss your percentage once you confirm your interest to me pls. It is our wish to invest our money on commercial property based on your advice and I will also receive assurance that you would not sit on this money when transferred into your account.
Please confirm your interest via e-mail.
Best regards,


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