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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: james knight <>
Reply-To: james knight <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:35:21 +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: