I don't usually get spam in my email account. I don't know why as some of my friends with similar email accounts get hundreds a day. Anyway, a few months ago I received this email:
My name is Mr Clarence Edwin, an attorney at law chambers of Clarence
Edwin & Associates. A deceased client of mine whose name is the same last
name with you, who herein after shall be referred to as my client, died
together with his family on December 26 -2004 as a result of Tsunami Disaster.
I am contacting you because you have the same surname as my deceased client
and i felt that you could help me in the distribution of funding that were
left in my deceased client's bank account. This funding is closed to be
declared UN-serviceable by the bank as there were no indicated next of kin or
next of beneficiary of the funding in the bank account.
The total amount of cash in the bank account of my deceased client is
US$4.7 Million ( Four Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollar )
only. The bank had issued to me a notification to contact the next of kin of
my deceased client or account will be confiscated.
My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to present your kind self
as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client, since you have the
same last name with him. This means that the proceeds of his bank account
would be paid to you as his next of kin or the legitimate beneficiary. We
would share the percentage on a mutually agreed-upon 60% for me and 40% to
your kind self.
All the legal documents to back up the claim as my client's next-of-kin would
be provided by me. This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
would protect you from any breach of the law.
If this business proposition offends your moral and ethic values, do accept
my sincere apology. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise
the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever
your decision, while I await your prompt response. Please contact me, if your
interested by replying the mail or ignore it if you are not.
Barrister Clarence Edwin
Obviously after the first sentence or two I knew it was a scam, but I decided to respond anyway:
Many thanks for this news. I was not aware that any of my extended family were killed in the tragedy in 2004. This is quite a shock and I am surprised that I hadn't heard about it.
On closer inspection, I notice that you never mentioned my name, my family name or my deceased relatives name. It is also surprising that my father would not be the next of kin instead of myself, as any relations with our family name would be related to me through him.
In short, I think you are full of shit. You are a complete scumbag who is trying to rip people off. Not only are you a thief, but you are also preying on people's emotions which makes you a complete asshole. On top of that you are trying to profit from a natural disaster which killed thousands of people and left many more injured and homeless, which is deplorable. I will be passing this email onto the proper authorities. I hope you get whats coming to you.
Strangely, Clarence never got back to me.
For the record, I received two more scam emails shortly after:
(Old Ivory Coast)
Compliment of the day.I'm Mrs.Maria Adams married to late Mr.William Adams from Sierra-Leone.I picked interest on you after glancing through your profile at my late husband's int'l business directory.I deemed it necessary to disclose this important issue I believe one thing in me that God will always make a way for the needy and helpless one.We were living in this country(CoTe D'Ivoire) where we are till now before the death of my husband.
We were blessed with an only son Peter.I lost my husband a couple of years ago.My husband was a serving director of the Agro-exporting board until his death .He was assassinated by the rebels during the political uprising here just the same thing that is going on in this country.Before his death he told me of a fund deposit of US$15.5M(Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) he made in a private bank here in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire with my name as the next of kin.He made this deposit for the purchase of cocoa processing machine and development of a factory before his untimely death.
This is a matter of trust, now I confide in you since I don't know anybody abroad.If you agree on this, I'll give you 25% of the total share when transferred, then extra 5% will be added to you if you make any expenses on the cause of the transfer hence I don't have any money may be to settle any expenses.My son is very sick at the moment but praying to God for his healing. Please remember us in your daily prayers.
Waiting to hearing from you, please once I hear from you positively,I'll send you more details on what you need to do.Wishing you a lovely day.
RE: AWARD FINAL NOTIFICATION
RE: AWARD FINAL NOTIFICATION
This is to inform you on the release of the Espaсa Ђuromillones
Loterнa/international Promotion Program held on the 16TH February, 2009. Due
to mix up of some numbers, name and email, the results were released on the 4th
of March, 2009. Your name attached to ticket number X-0207142544-0Z with serial
number 02-04 drew the lucky numbers of 23-51-22-5-0 which consequently won the
lottery in the 3rd category.
You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payout of Ђ985.950.00 (NINE HUNDRED
AND EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EUROS ONLY) in cash credited to
Ref no:US/76841284672/09, Batch no:1305/08/EMS . This is from a total cash prize
of Ђ12.316.200.00 (TWEVLE MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED
EUROS ONLY) Shared among the international winners in this category. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
Your fund is now deposited with a security company and insured in your name. Due
to mix up of some numbers and names , we ask that you keep this award from public
notice until your claim has been processed and money remitted to your account as
this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted
taking advantage of this program by participants. All participants were selected
through a computer ballot system drawn from 25,000 names from Asia, Australia,
Africa, Europe, South America and North America as part of our International
promotions program which we conduct once every year, to promote tourism. We hope
your lucky name will draw a bigger cash prize in the next year’s program.
To begin your lottery claim, please contact your claims agent Mrs. Anna Mendez
the Foreign operations manager of PROTECTIVE SECURITY COMPANIA SA , On
Tel: 34-634-035-103 Fax: 34-912-919-506 Email address: email@example.com
for the processing and remittance of your winning prize money to a designation
of your choice. Remember, all price money must be claimed not later than, 31st
of May, 2009. After this date, all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE
ECONOMIA Y HACIENDA as unclaimed. And also be informed that 10% of your Lottery
Winning belongs to PROTECTIVE SECURITY COMPANIA S A. Because they are your claims
agent. This 10% will be remitted after you have received your winnings because the
money is insured in your name already.
In order to avoid unnecessary delay and complication, please remember to quote
your reference and batch numbers in every correspondence with us or your agent.
Furthermore, should there be any change of your address, do inform your claims
agent as soon as possible. Congratulations once again from all our members of
staff and thank you for being a part of our International promotions program.
ELLEN M. GOMEZ
I didn't bother replying and haven't received any more scam emails since, but I really can't understand how anyone would fall for this. Who in their right mind would think that a complete stranger is going to give them millions of dollars for nothing. What's sad is that it seems many decent people have fallen for these scams and hand over smaller amounts as 'release fees' in order to process the exchange of these imaginary big life-changing windfalls.
More info about email scams can be found here.