DS Alerts American Cos. of Fraudsters Purporting to be US Ambassadors … Can’t Read ‘Em

Posted: 1:45 am EDT
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]





We understand that the Overseas Security Advisory Council functions as the liaison for cooperation and information sharing between  Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the U.S. private sector abroad.  But in cases like online scams where there are no borders, why can’t Diplomatic Security and the Consular Bureau team up to release a public alert for these scams and not just an alert for American companies overseas? This is not confined to Africa, anymore. See previous posts:

Screen Shot 2015-05-31

Here’s one “ambassador spam” received by one of our readers:

“This is Mrs Gayleatha B.Brown the Former United States Ambassador to Republic of Benin, I came down here in Cotonou Benin Republic for an ECOWAS meeting and I was searching for some files that I left in this office before I left and found out that you have not received your fund, and I asked the present ambassador Mr James Knight what happened that you have not receive your fund and he said that you refused to pay the required fee for the delivery of your ATM CARD.

I’m contacting you this morning because the director of the ATM CARD center here in Benin Republic said that they will divert your ATM CARD to the Government Treasury just because that you cannot pay for the service fee of your ATM CARD which is $95.00 only according to them.

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 $2.5m which will change your life just because of $95.00.

I want your urgent response as soon as you receive this email and explain to me the reason why you have abandon your ATM CARD because of $95.00. But if you don’t need it then I can change your name to another person so that this Government will not claim this money but I know that you will love to have it.

Please my dear I want to help you to receive this fund because it was a big shock to me that you have not receive your ATM CARD and withdraw your money since 2 years now and I’m very sorry for that and you will receive your fund before the end of this meeting which will take us 4 days and I will be here to monitor it until you receive your fund.

This is where you should send the fee today and don’t fail to do that as I have said.

Receiver Name==== FRANKL IBGU
Country =======Benin Republic
City ============= Cotonou
Text Question ===== Urgent
Answer ============ Today
Amount ======== $95.00
Sender Name ====
Mtcn ====
I will wait to hear from you today with the mtcn number.”


Gayleatha Beatrice Brown was a United States foreign service officer who served as ambassador to Benin and Burkina Faso. She passed away at the JFK Medical Center, Edison, N.J. on April 19, 2013.

James A. Knight is the current U.S. Ambassador to Chad. He previously served as ambassador to Benin from 2009 to 2012.

The State Department’s travel.state.gov has a page on international financial scams but the site does not include any alert on fraudsters using the American ambassadors names in their scams.


State/IIP Introduces New American Ambassadors on YouTube – Pick Your Favorite Now!

— By Domani Spero

The  State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) has rolled out several videos for its Ambassador Introduction Video Series on You Tube.  The videos are mostly in English (with one exception) or with some local language subtitles. The most viewed from this latest releases is the video of US Ambassador to Belgium Denise Bauer.  The only one in a foreign language (with an English version also available) is delivered unexpectedly not by a career diplomat but by non-career appointee Alexa Wesner, the new ambassador to Austria.  The most viewed in this series at 377,521 views is still the video introduction of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens originally published in May 2012 by america.gov and US Embassy Tripoli. A good number of these videos get less than a thousand views.

See Here Comes the Sun: U.S. Senate Confirms A Slew of New Ambassadors as It Runs Out the Door for the recent confirmations. We expect to see mored videos like these as the confirmed ambassadors start getting to posts.


U.S. Ambassador to Austria Alexa Wesner  

Deutsch Version – 6,254 views |   Meet U.S. Ambassador to Austria, Alexa Wesner English Version – 687 views

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Post … – Jun 27, 2013


U.S. Ambassador to Kingdom of Belgium Denise Bauer 

Views: 34,261

Officially In: Denise Bauer — from Women for Obama to Belgium


U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford

Views: 9,974

Officially In: Rufus Gifford — From Obama for America to Denmark


U.S. Ambassador to Italy John Philips

 English with Italian Subtitles – 105 views

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | July 9, 2013


U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Chad James Knight

Views – 94

Officially In: James Knight, from Iraq to Chad


U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale

Views – 60

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts – June 21, 2013


U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso Tulinabo Mushingi

Views – 41

Officially In: Tulinabo Mushingi, from S/ES to Burkina Faso


U.S. Ambassador to Laos Dan Clune

Part Lao/Lao With English Subtitles – 25 views

Officially In: Dan Clune – From HR/BEX to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic


Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s Matthew Barzun

Views: 647

Special mention goes to the US Embassy in London for ditching the video formula and welcoming the new Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Matthew Barzun by looking back at some of the former Ambassadors to London in Position Filled at Grosvenor Square! Ambassador Barzun was previously the chief of mission at the US Embassy in Sweden duringPresident Obama’s first term in office.


May 7, 2013: Today at the SFRC – James Knight (Chad), Deborah Jones (Libya)


Presiding: Senator Menendez

Date: Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: Senate Dirksen 419

Webcast: This hearing is scheduled to be live webcast. Please return to this page to view the hearing live at the specified date and time.


The Honorable James Knightof Alabama, to be the Ambassador to the Republic of Chad

The Honorable Deborah Kay Jones, of New Mexico, to be the Ambassador to Libya



Officially In: James Knight, from Iraq to Chad

On March 13, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Ambassador James Knight as the next Ambassador to the Republic of Chad. The WH released the following brief bio:

Ambassador James Knight, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  From 2009 to 2012, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Benin.  His additional overseas assignments include: Team Leader of the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq (2006-2007); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola (2004-2006); Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Praia, Cape Verde (2001-2003); Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar (1995-1998); and Political, Economic, and Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Banjul, The Gambia (1993-1995).  In Washington, his assignments include: Director of the State Department’s Office of East African Affairs (2007-2009) and Country Officer for Ethiopia (1998-2001).  Ambassador Knight served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1973.

He received a B.A. and an M.A. from Wichita State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Ambassador James Knight(Photo via US Embassy Cotonou/FB)

Ambassador James Knight
(Photo via US Embassy Cotonou/FB)

If confirmed, Ambassador Knight (appointed Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the later part of 2012) would succeed career diplomat Mark Boulware who was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Chad on September 29, 2010.

Ambassador Knight is an Africa hand with tours in various outposts in the African continent broken only by two postings in Baghdad and Mosul and a couple of domestic tours.  Nigerian scammers, by the way, did not know that he had left Benin last year and are still sending out their Irrevocable Release/Transfer Atm Visa Card Notice for your due funds (US$5,500,000:00) scam with Ambassador Knight’s name on it.