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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:

Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 23:10:30 +0200
Subject: important.

TELEPHONE: +27-73-4551-261.

I am Mrs. Katherine Woodward a white Zimbabwean citizen, the widow of late Dr. Alfred Woodward of Zimbabwe, a white farmer who was recently murdered in the land dispute in my country. I got your contact through South African Information exchange (S.A.I.E) here in Johannesburg South Africa and decided to write for your urgent assistance.
My late husband was among the white Zimbabwe successful farmers murdered in cold blood by the agents of the (ZANU PF) ruling party government of President Robert Mugabe for his alleged support and sympathy for the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the whites.

Before his death, he took me and our son Mark to Johannesburg to deposit the sum of (US$25.5 Million United states Dollars) on my name as the beneficiary with a private Security and Finance Company as if he foresee the looming danger in Zimbabwe.

The money was deposited as a consignment in a diplomatic metal box and was declared as diplomatic family's valuables to the security company on deposition to avoid seizure and minimize demurrages from the company.

This fund was for the purchase of new farming machines and tools for the establishment of new farms in Swaziland. For the fact that the government of Mr. Robert Mugabe has forcefully seize all our farms and personal assets and distribute our farm to his allegedly supporters.

This land problems arose when President Robert Mugabe introduced a new land reform acts, which wholly affects the rich white farmers and all whites in the country vehemently condemned the modus operandi adopted by the government, which resulted to rampant killings and mob actions by the war veterans and political thugs of Mr. Mugabe against white farmers and some opposition blacks.

Presently more than sixty-one (61) prominent white farmers have been killed and their farms seized. Heads of governments from Western World especially Britain and United States of America have voiced their condemnation of Mugabe's actions and his dictatorship type of leadership.

Subsequently, the South African development community (SADC) has continuously supported Mugabe's new land reform act. It is against this background that I and my family who are currently staying in South Africa have decided to move this fund into a foreign account for investment purposes.

As a widow with three children in a foreign country, I am saddled with the responsibility of seeking for an oversea account where this money could be transferred safely without the knowledge of my government who had tactically froze our family wealth as South African Government seems to be playing along side with them. We have decided not to invest this fund in South Africa for fear of seizure and encountering the same experience in future since both countries have almost the same political history. More also the South African Foreign Exchange policy does not allow such investment hence we are asylum seekers.

If you are willing to assist me, I am offering you USD 5. Million (Five million United States Dollars Only) from the total sum, while %5 from the total amount will be used for any expenses we might incur in the process of the transaction. However, you have to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement with me that you will not elope with the money when entrusted into your hands. If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email on my private email address at (

I have to assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free as all necessary arrangements have been made for successful deal. However, if you accept this proposal, please contact me at this telephone number +27-73-4551-261. Or you may alternatively send me an email at my above private email address for more details. I will appreciate if you include your private contact numbers for easier communications.

I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute Confidentiality of this matter for the security and success of the transaction. Please if you do not feel comfortable with this proposal, do not hesitate to discontinue but please, do kindly notify me of your decision even when you decide otherwise.
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family.

Yours Faithfully,

Mrs. Katherine Woodward.

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