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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: Joan Gates <>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 06:01:09 +0000
Subject: My Dear Friend.

Greeting to you.

My Dear Friend,

firstly, I got your email address from a mail Directory and decided to
mail you for a permission to go ahead.
I am Mrs. Joan Gates United Kingdom, married to Dr. James R. Gates who
worked with Texaco Oil Company in London, before he died in a ghastly
motor accident on his way to a Board meeting. My Husband and I were
married without any children,and I decided not to re-marry and
presently I am 69 Years old. When my late husband was Alive he
deposited the sum of $16.5M. (Sixteen Million Five Hundred Thousand
U.S. Dollars) with a Bank. Presently this money is still with the
Bank and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come
forward to receive the money or rather Issue a letter of authorization
to somebody to receive it on my behalf. I am presently in a hospital
where I have been undergoing treatment Cancer of the lungs and
inability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few
months to live so I think the best thing to do is to use the money for
charity purposes. I want a person who is trustworthy that I will make
the beneficiary of my late Husband's Fund deposited with the bank so
that the person can get the money and utilize 70% of this money to
fund churches, orphanages and widows around the world and keep the
remaining 30% for his effort.

At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls due to the fact that
my relatives (They had squandered the funds I gave them for this
purpose before now and are around me I have been helping orphans
orphanage/motherless homes. I have also donated some money for
humanitarian needs in Sudan, South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Austria,
Germany and some Asian countries. I have been touched to the good work
of humanity through you, rather than allow my relatives to use my
husband's hard earned funds inappropriately. I know i have never met
you but my mind tells me to do this, and I hope you act sincerely.

I want you send me the following information, if you are interested as
an enable that you are the right beneficiary. As soon as I receive
your information, I shall give you the contact details of the bank,
authorization letter and my picture with the doctor as an authenticity
of my integrity.

Your Full Name,
Your Contact Address,
Your Phone Number,
Your Age,
Your Occupation and
Any of your identifications

This is to ensure that nothing jeopardizes my last wish on Earth. I
await your urgent reply. {}

Mrs. Joan Gates

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