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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: "Maria Stevens" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 08:30:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Write back please...

MAY YOU BE BLESSED 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 Maria Del Carmen stevens a swedish,my meeting with Mr David Yendall Stevens in south africa led us into marriage. My husband Mr David stevens who is now late farmer and exporter of Tobacco in the Republic of zimbabwe,he was shot dead allegedly by ZANU-PFsupporters in zimbabwe on 25th of april 2000 in the farm. You can confirmthis by copying and pasting this link on your internet browser.or click on it: 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 commercia!
farms in which an estimated70,000 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.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. At the Moment, our phone lines are bugged, and all our movements are being monitored by Zimbabwe(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 transactions 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.the government of zimbabwe has asked all
white-farmers to give up their farms to black farmers or risk going to prison. So far, more than 1,400 white owned farms have been invaded and confiscated, as well as claiming the properties of the farmers.Also,about 133 white farmers were arrested for defying the orders to leave their farms under the controversial land reform program of the government. 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 totaling US$58,750,000. (Fifty 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 Europe. 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, Hopefully, You will consider this request and respond positively. Yours Sincerely, Maria Stevens

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