Share via email "Friends" spam via The Daily Mail leads to 419 scam

Filed Under: Celebrities, Featured, Spam

FriendsI received an email late last night telling me that the hit American sitcom "Friends", starring the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Matt Le Blanc, would be coming to an end next year.

That's funny. I thought the last series of "Friends" was aired back in 2004?

(Some people argue the show died when actress Helen Baxendale married Ross, and the subsequent clinically unfunny episodes set in England, but lets not get into that debate..)

Here's the email I received:


My Name is Mrs.Naomi Elvis Michael.Pls i want you to reply me back as soon as possible because i want to discuss something important with you,i wants to entrust $12.7 mill to your hand for charity work,waiting your reply for more info about this fund,Mrs.Naomi Elvis Michael

Friends to go separate ways

The next series of Friends will be the last, David Schwimmer announced yesterday. He said: 'It's sad but enough is enough. We have all agreed this will be the final year.'

Full Story:

So, what's happening here?

Clearly, someone going by the highly unlikely name of "Mrs. Naomi Elvis Michael" wants to give $12.7 million. All I have to do, she says, is email her back.

Many of us receive such scam emails, promising us riches, every day. And we know to consign them to the trash can.

On this occasion, however, Mrs Michael (I feel it would be too familiar just to call her "Elvis") hasn't sent me the email directly.

Instead, she's used the "Email to a friend" facility on an old Daily Mail article to send me not only a link to an (old) story of the final days of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross.

Daily Mail article about the demise of Friends

She has also taken advantage of the option to include an "introductory message" to add some words of her own, hoping that I will be foolish enough to believe I could be sent a sizable amount of money.

Maybe she's hoping that I am so excited by the news of my windfall that I don't notice it is wrapped around a news article about a 1990s sitcom.

Tell-a-friend feature on Daily Mail website

The Daily Mail, to its credit, does include a CAPTCHA field on its "Tell a friend" form, but we all know that these aren't always enough to stop a determined spam campaign.

I'm actually encouraged that spammers and scammers are going to such ridiculous lengths to get their messages in front of their intended recipients. It strongly suggests that they are finding it harder to ensure that enough "eyeballs" see their bogus messages - and that must surely mean that anti-spam defences are getting better and better.

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2 Responses to Share via email "Friends" spam via The Daily Mail leads to 419 scam

  1. congress wants to take down terrorism - try targeting the countries these scammers work from

    we all know the scammers filter money to terrorist groups in one way or another

  2. Franz Miller · 1007 days ago

    Oh please, if Congress "got rid" of "terrorism" they'd have a helluva lot of explainIng to do with the moneyed minority that gives them their marching orders. Besides the fact they'd have to find other ways to "win friends and influence enemies.". Because if you think for a minute terrorists have come anywhere close to approaching the vast number of human beings wiped off the face of the Earth by order of our illustrious gummint.
    What planet are you from, anyway, could it be Moronica?

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley