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Spam Flavor of the Week: The Inheritance Swindle

September 6th, 2009

spam-flavors.jpgToday I received a fresh Spam email on a topic that I do not recall covering here yet — the inheritance swindle, also known as the “long lost uncle” scam. This one uses an interesting mixture of curiosity, urgency, and greed in an attempt to lure recipients into replying to the message and contacting the spammer. Although I am not sure exactly what the follow-up message says, my guess is that it’s probably an advance fee fraud type of deal where you will be required to pay some kind of deposit in order to release the funds.

Compared to most email spams that I receive, this one seems relatively clever at first but loses much of its charm because of the awkward writing style (for example, there is no such country as “Latvia Eastern Europe”; it is supposed to be simply “Latvia”). Of course, there is also the sheer unlikelihood that a person from “Latvia Eastern Europe” would decide to contact random foreigners just because someone died and they couldn’t track down any heirs. But if you’re curious enough, you can always reply to the spammer’s email address and see what kind of response you get. Remember to replace the (at) text with @ to reconstruct the actual address.



Dear Sir/Madam, I am Fredrick Ola, the Human Resources Executive of Atlantic Oil & Gas Corporation. On the 15th of May 2003, Philips lob, an expatriate, who was a consultant/contractor with the Corporation, was found to have died in a plane crash along the Lekki Peninsula while on inspection tour of offshore oil facilities belonging to the Corporation. As the Welfare Director of the corporation, I contacted Philips bankers and briefed them of this development. The bankers informed me that since their client is dead, it is only the next of kin to the deceased with the proper legal documents that can compel them to pay his fixed deposit as an inherited estate. With the position of the financial outfit, I mandated the legal department of our firm to search for a relative of the deceased so that he can be presented as the next of kin to the bank.

But the only relative of the deceased, one Mr. Sam Leonard who was also the next of kin to the deceased according to his bank documents and who was last known to have lived in Latvia Eastern Europe, died as cancer patient some two months before his death. All efforts to trace other relatives of the deceased proved abortive, as all available links were exhausted. Three years after his death, with no news from any relative living anywhere and no one coming forward, we decided to seek a foreigner so that the fund can be transferred out of its present account to yours.

The account deposit contains US$12 million United States Dollars and it is important that a probable next of kin claims this fund within the next fourteen official working days. If no one comes for the claim before the stipulated time frame, the account would be closed as inactive and dormant and funds sent to the coffers of the government. This is in consonance with the stipulations of the enabling laws governing foreign inherited estates. I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased.This would facilitate the payment of the proceeds of the said account to you. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect all the parties involved from any breach of the law.

Please let me know what you intend to have as your commission if you agree to embark on this venture.

Please reply me via my private email address


Best Regards,

Fredrick Ola.

Related article: Spam Flavors: A Collage of Recent Emails

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