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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. Sara Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2018 00:41:36 -0700
Subject: Good Day My Dear,

Hello Dear,

My name Is Sara Hartwell-Smith, I'm a white south African woman from Belgium origin, we have been facing persecution here for a while, my late husband and I have been married for 35yrs till his death 2years ago and we were not blessed with a child. We have more than 20 hectares of farm and commercial land / properties in South Africa both in Johannesburg and table mountain in Capetown.

I have inherited some of these properties from my mother who passed away years ago, I looked on Google and yahoo search to get someone who I can really trust that is not based in S. Africa, I stumbled on your email and prayed before writing you. I am writing you because of the recent developments I sold 60% of the property totaling $19.4millions USD money which I deposited with HSBC bank in Johannesburg South Africa, and I'm making arrangements to move the funds to HSBC Bank in New York. Recently, South African government is in the process of passing a law to take over all white owned lands and give them to black people. The land has been my family for generations and it's very unfortunate recent developments show that if anything happens to me I will lose all. secondly I have been very ill for a while now. I wish to name you next of kin to stand and receive the funds on my behalf, my intention is that the money be used to set up a charity organization for children and the rest for c
onservation. For latest d

If you can contact me as soon as possible, I will introduce you to my bank and name you as next of kin, should anything happen to me while I'm still here
I know that everything my parents and late husband worked for will not be in vain. Endeavor to send me the following information about you;

1. Full name.
2. Age.
3. Address
5. Occupation.

Remain blessed till I hear from you. Kind regards, Mrs. Sara Harthwell-Smith.

Anti-fraud resources: