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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: "Mrs.Maria Farnn" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 21:14:45 +0100

From: Mrs. Maria Farnn
34 Klin Ave Moreleta Park ,
Pretoria 001 South Africa
Tel 0027760295111

Attn: President/C E O

My name is Mrs. Maria Farnn, from Zimbabwe Southern Africa .I am The Wife Of
Late Mr. Gilbert Farnn, owner FARNN farms Harare Ltd, affected by President
Mugabes land reform acts which is depriving us of rights in all facets.

I apologize for inconveniences this message may bring especially coming from
complete strangers. However, it is an urgent call for assistance as our ugly
(circumstance) predicaments here compelled my action.

I have $12.5Million dollars, which I will like to invest for my children
Miss. Candice and Kelvin, in your country through you/company since I am not
business inclined following the lost of my husband.

If you are interested do get back to me for more information or call my son
Kelvin or Candice on Tel 0027760295111, you can also contact us through my
above E-mail address:, or

You may wish to read about the problems in Zimbabwe my country through the
following links clearing any doubt proposition to ascertain my reasons of
contacting you and the situation we are in and really will appreciate if you
assisted us.

Waiting for your urgent response
Yours Truely, Maria Farnn
(For the Family)

Anti-fraud resources: