Spotting Spam Email

I was going through my inbox recently when the subject line, “NEXT OF KIN” caught my attention. I opened.

I am contacting you based on a financial opportunity I discovered here in our bank.

Hmmm. A “Dr. Charles Weller” writing from “usarmycontractoriraq2@gmail.com”? How intriguing.

In fact, he’s a bank employee with a Ph’D who’s writing from a non-company email labeled “US Army Contractor”. He’s reaching out to me — “ME!” — , out of all the billions of people in this world, that there’s a “financial opportunity” that his bank “discovered”.

Nothing suspect about that.

Tell me more, “Dr. Charles Weller”.

It’s about an abandoned sum of 10.7 million USD in our safe deposit vault, that belongs to one of our foreign customers, who died along with his entire family on 11th March 2004 in train bombing in Madrid.

Fascinating. $10.7 million left by a family with no friends or relatives who were killed in a terrorist bombing that I vaguely heard about since, being an American, I don’t read the news.

And this vital context being told in a 39-word run on sentence quite similar to the one I just wrote.

The banking policy can only allow the release of such funds to a benefactor through an application as next of kin to the deceased.

Since no one has come up since over ten years.

Hmm. He must be so excited to tell me about this (“financial opportunity”?) that he’s not making any sense and can’t finish his sentence. Good thing he’s following “banking policy”.

I am almost 100% sure that no one is aware of the existence of these funds. 

No tracking on $10.7 million “USD”? Just letting it go through the cracks, eh Dr. Weller?

In America, unclaimed money must be given to the state where they’ll keep it for several more years. Then, if no one claims it, the state uses it for the public good. How do I know such things? The same way Dr. Weller could have: I Googled it.

In “Dr. Weller’s” country, though, I guess it’s “banking policy” to just email people out of the blue. Maybe they’re so poor, they don’t have Google. Maybe they don’t know the value of $10.7 million dollars.

And what country was that again? And what bank?

In conclusion, it’s my concern to demand your ultimate honesty, co-operation and confidentiality.I GUARANTEE that this process would be executed under a legitimate arrangement that would legally protect you from any breach of law.

…. Because what could be illegal about taking $10.7 million “USD” from a private account and just giving it to some anonymous person over the internet.

And, just out of curiosity, how did he find me?

i got your email from Internet.

Well, that does it. This deal must be legit! And after all, if I reply, what’s the worse that could happen?