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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: Paul Matondi <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2024 18:43:28 -0700
Subject: Hi

From. Paul Matondi

Tel: +27 844283910,

Dear Friend

I hope this message finds you well. We discovered your contact information during our search for a trustworthy foreign partner who can assist us in a critical matter. Please accept our apologies if this email causes any discomfort, as we are reaching out to you without prior acquaintance.

My name is Paul Matondi, and I am reaching out on behalf of my family. Due to the political crisis in Zimbabwe, we are currently refugees in South Africa and urgently need your assistance.

Our father, Sir Clifford Matondi, was a prominent farmer in Zimbabwe who opposed President Robert Mugabe’s land policies. As a result, our farm was destroyed, and our father was severely beaten, leading to his death. Before he passed, he deposited $30 million in a South African financial institution for purchasing farming equipment.

As refugees, we cannot access these funds. We seek your help to transfer the money out of South Africa by standing as our father's beneficiary, facilitated by his financial attorney.

In appreciation, we offer you 35% of the total funds, with 5% allocated for transfer-related expenses. The remaining 60% will help us start a new business in your country with your support.

Please respond if you are willing to assist, and we will provide further details.

Thank you and God bless,

Paul and Sandile Matondi
(On behalf of the Matondi Family)

Anti-fraud resources: