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: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 20:05:24 +0700
Subject: RE:Your attention.
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 beneficiary/ inheritor.
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 you Please treat this information as highly confidential.
Looking forward to hear from you Thanks and remain blessed.
MR, SOPEAP SOKHEM