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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: "US Ambassador to Benin Republic" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 08:56:39 +0100
Subject: US Ambassador to Benin Republic

My name is Mr. William Lawrence. I am the US Ambassador to Benin Republic. I am a career member of the senior Foreign Service, Regarding the last email I received from you about a month ago, I understand that you have being scammed out of lot money in African such as Nigeria Benin Republic Burkina-faso, am united state of American citizen also united state of American ambassador to Benin republic.

I want inform you that due to all the obstacle you have being passing through in receiving your fund, I have personal decided to handle your fund on your behalf to make sure you received your wining fund of $1.5 successfully which is available in Benin republic.

Now I have signed this fund through orders of seven laws both in united state of American and African, (THAT IS AN IRROVOCABLE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO RECEIVED THIS SAID FUND).

I am also using this medium to inform you that your payment has being process via ATM visa card and the account has being already opened and the total amount you are to withdraw per day is the sum of $10, 000, 00 and you can also make a transfer through online $400,0000 per day.

This is to prove to you that your transaction of $1.5 million is real, sir madam I need your address and personal telephone numbers such home phone and cell phone attached Id

And being it in mind that once you the ATM card you have to activated it before could start withdrawing fund

Treat as urgent.

Respectfully yours,
Below is my attached Id
call me +229-969 59516

Mr. William Lawrence (Email Address:(
US Ambassador to Benin Republic

Anti-fraud resources: