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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. JOAN GATES" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 15:17:10 +0800

This is HTML source of message you composed. Do not modify here. To modify this message press HTML Messages Editor button.
Reply To;;
My Dear Friend,
Greetings to you.
firstly, I got your email address from an Email Directory and decided to mail you for a permission to go ahead. I am Mrs. Joan Gates from 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 China Citic 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 authority to somebody to receive it on my behalf. I am currently in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for 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 Funds 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. 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 and the 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 to send me the following information if you are interested as an emblem 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. Email:
Mrs. Joan Gates

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