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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: Mary Beth Leonard <>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 23:47:14 -0700
Subject: Office of the US Ambassador to Nigeria.//

Office of the US Ambassador to Nigeria
11 Garki road Abuja
Abuja, Nigeria.

Attention Beneficiary,

I am 100% sure you have had bitter experience with various scam
activities claiming to be high government officials defrauding people
of their hard earned money and the activities of those scammers has
changed your perspective about conducting business on the internet and
you now believes there is no genuine business that can be conducted on
the internet.

The internet was created by Americans for the purpose of creating,
awareness for your products/ services and conducting genuine business
and I am fully committed to deliver the diplomatic consignment to you.
I'm a citizen of the United States but I was on a mission here in
Nigeria as a US Ambassador to Nigeria. Hence, I am making every effort
to ensure that no citizen of the United States will be cheat by
Nigeria/Benin republic.

Therefore, I need your support and understanding to actualize this
dream, I also want you to understand that I do trust you and I expect
you to show me the same trust and respect in return since trust is a
2-way street. On the other hands.

I will be sending your ATM CARD worth of ($1.5, MILLION UNITED STATE
DOLLARS) Via Courier Service.

(Send your Whats-App phone number and your delivery address were you
want your ATM CARD) to be delivered. You have really paid so much in
this delivery that makes me wonder. You are a very lucky person
because your CARD must surely gets to you and there is nothing anyone
can do about it, your ATM CARD worth of ($1.5, MILLION UNITED STATE

The cost of registering it is $150 fee must be paid in the next few
days so that all necessary arrangement can be made before time. Kindly
reply me immediately for the registration fee.

Await your urgent reply.

Thank you,
Mary Beth Leonard,
Us Ambassador To Nigeria.

Anti-fraud resources: