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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: "Mr.James Knight" <>
Reply-To: "Mr.James Knight" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:00:12 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Greeting from U.S Embassy,

 Greeting from U.S Embassy,
Please i want to informyou that your fund was brought to my desk this morning because that the director of the western union 
here in Benin republic said that they will divert your fund to the government treasuries account just 
because that you refused to pay for the transfer fee of your fund which is $99 but i told them to wait until i 
hear from you today so that i will know the reason why you rejected such amount of money $8.5 millions 
which will change your life just because of $99.
I want your urgent response as soon as you receive this email and tell me the reason why you have 
abandon your fund or if you don't need it then i can change your name to another person so that their 
government will not claim this money.
Please you should get back to me with this contact information and i will tell you where you should send 
the $99 if you are really intrested.
Your Full name .....................Your country andcity........................Your home address ...........................Your private phone number.........................Your age occupation
Contact me through this email address ( will wait for your urgent response
Mr.James KnightUnited States Ambassador to the Republic ofbenin

Anti-fraud resources: