A lady contacted me by a name of Pierrette Mala said she is about to die and is an orphan and has no family to leave her money wth and has been lead by faith that im a good person to leave this money with. She said she has throat cancer and is a widow and just doesn't feel leaving money to organizations will do any good since people tend to steal. To make this story short she said she feels im a good person and is following her heart and wants to send me 60.000 euros and to contact her notary for the details in sending me this donation. I contacted that notary email [email removed] and he said there are two forms they will have to complete 1. authorization form 2. donation form. The lady stated she is originally from France but lives in Canada. What seems weird to me is her notary has a domain of gmail.com instead of having a business domain. also this whole thing is weird.

Is this a scam?

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    I would go one step further: I wonder how anybody could think this could be genuine. – glglgl Jun 9 '19 at 7:52
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    "A lady contacted me" - how did she find you? How can she know you are a good person? (I don't doubt it, but how does she know?) – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 9 '19 at 11:50
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    Nobody ever contacts a stranger online out of the blue and offers to give them money. That's not a thing that actually happens. The details of the story are irrelevant - if you don't already know who this person is IRL, then it's a scam. In fact, even if you do know the person IRL, if the offer to give you large sums of money is unexpected, I'd be more inclined to think their email is being hijacked somehow, and would try to contact them face to face to ask about it. – Steve-O Jun 9 '19 at 14:16
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    " if you don't already know who this person is IRL, then it's a scam" - Most of the comment, I agree, 100%. But it's possible to build relationships on line. When an 'online' friend whose charity I supported for 5 years had a baby, I asked her for a good email to paypal her a donation to her baby's 529 acct. We never met, but I consider her a friend. Along with a handful of others. If @BenMiller needs a kidney, I'm sending $1K to his GoFundMe. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 9 '19 at 15:55
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    Aww, thanks, @JoeTaxpayer! I, too, have “met” some wonderful people online, including many on this very website that are genuine and have a desire to help others with their time and effort. I’ve been thinking about questions like this one lately. It is interesting that it seems so obvious to us that this is the hook of a classic scam, yet people are taken in by this everyday. Trust is built over time, and when you are contacted out of the blue from someone with whom you have no relationship, with a message too good to be true, suspicion is required. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jun 9 '19 at 17:20

Yes, this is a scam. The reason it seems weird to you is that it is weird. A real person wanting to give money away will find someone that they know in real life, not a stranger that they came across searching online.

In the future, you should probably treat unsolicited messages that you receive with more suspicion.


This seems like a pretty classic Nigerian scam. If you continue with this, they'll likely give some reason that you need to give them a "small" amount of money to facilitate the transaction. (They'll likely continue to get as many of these "small" payments from you as possible as long as you continue to go along with the scam, or simply disappear with the money once you pay them).


It is 100% a scam.

You pointed out in your question

" What seems weird to me is her notary has a domain of gmail.com instead of having a business domain. also this whole thing is weird. "

When a person is a notary their email address domain is unimportant. You contact them by phone or email, and then you meet in person with them. They need to see you, and your government issued ID, and then they need to watch you sign the forms, and then they emboss their stamp on that important document they signed.

That embossed seal they get from a government source, that tells the party of the transaction who can't watch you sign that the person that signed it was who they say they are.

A notary that you only interact with over the internet isn't a notary. They want their victim to think it must be true, because there was a notary involved.

  • Of course (and +1), but that's the part that struck OP as odd? Is there ever a case when a total stranger seeks to give money this way? (If I won the lottery, I might start paying off kid's hospital bills, but then the recipient isn't quite random, and I'd meet with the hospitals to do this) This is pure "stranger" – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 9 '19 at 12:25

Google some facts or sentences from that information, phone numbers, email of the lady, etc. first or read something about scams, hoaxs, etc. few examples: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/unexpected-money/inheritance-scams https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_scam

You made one mistake yet - you shouldn't reply to strangers email, in case I would trust such a fairy tail any bit, I will first check basic things like how that lady found me, what she know about me and from where, if contacts are real - official registers, notary chambre, etc. For example neighbour showed me real paper "Nigerian letter" and except terrible English found there was no ZIP, but regional part of landline phone number - they found his address in phone directory.
And most of similar scams build on greediness, so be careful, when sniffing interesting money ;-) Most probably it smells by scam.

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    Hi Tom, Welcom to Money.SE. We discourage link-only answers as links tend to rot, (break over time). Please offer a small citation from the sites to summarize its best points. (else, we can convert this to a comment on the original question) – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 9 '19 at 11:52

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