fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"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:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "SOPEAP SOKHEM" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:03:33 +0700
Subject: Re:Please treat this information as highly confidential
Compliments of day to you, obviously this message might come as a surprise to
you, but please consider it as a high priority issue, which will definitely
change our destiny for good. My name Mr. SOPEAP SOKHEM, the manager of auditing
and accounting department of ACLEDA Bank Plc. There is a Draft Account opened in
my bank in 1988 by a long-time client of our bank Mr. Mohamed Mold, who was a
foreigner from Lebanon, an Arab Citizen. He was a businessman, a miner at Kruger
Mining Company here in Cambodia, he was also a geologist and a mining consultant
to several other mining conglomerates operating in Cambodia, china, Taiwan,
Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam all in Asia, before he passed away on the
17th December, 2003 by car accident with his wife and two children along Vietnam
road, Leaving nobody as the next of kin or beneficiary of his account after his
I am aware of every details of his bank account from 1988 till date, and when
the last deposit was made before his death. As a matter of fact the amount in
this account is currently (Six Million Four Hundred and fifty thousand Dollars
(USD$6,450,000.00) waiting to be approved for immediate payment by the bank to
any foreign account holder with accurate details concerning this account from
1988 till 2003, who has all that is needed to be his next of kin and
In other words No withdrawal or deposit has been made since after his death till
today in the account.
I want to present you as the next of kin to late Mr. Mohamed Mold because this
money cannot be approved for payment into any local account, but can only be
approved to a foreign account because it was insured and there is a clause in
the depository agreement between the Bank and Mr. Mohamed Mold which states that
on No condition can any local withdrawals be made from this account unless an
offshore transfer. In effect withdrawals can be made only when the money has
been transferred from the vaults of the bank to a foreign bank account, I want
to remit this fund out as soon as possible to avoid the Cambodia Government from
confiscating this money in line with the Federal Edict Act of 1979.
If you are willing and capable of handling such amount in strict confidence and
trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefits, because
this opportunity may not come our way again I will use my position and influence
in our bank to secure all legal approvals and onward transfer of this money into
Please treat this information as highly confidential. Looking forward to hear
Thanks and remain blessed.
MR, SOPEAP SOKHEM