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An Impressive Advanced-Fee Fraud Email Scam

By David Cawley | 5 minute read

I’m sure most of you have received an advance-fee fraud scam e-mail at some time over the past few years, if not on a daily basis. They’re also known as Nigerian 419 scams as more often than not they originate from Nigeria and 419 is their criminal code for dealing with fraud. I often wonder how someone could possibly ignore the countless spelling mistakes or broken English and fall for the scam.

This morning I saw a scam e-mail that was much more believable. Normally, a person would be notified of a legal matter by letter rather than e-mail so it starts out by claiming a letter had already been sent. The legal language used in the letter is quite impressive for an Oracle DBA Information Analyst and this matter would probably beyond their job function. Perhaps next time they should chose a more appropriate title?


You have not responded to my previous letter sent two weeks ago by regular mail in which I expressed my grave concerns about an investment of a member of your family.

As you already know, I am the Information Analyst at the SNS Bank of Netherlands and presently in London, the United Kingdom on official assignments. I am contacting you via email because you have not responded to my previous letter and I do hope you will give this matter a priority attention it truly deserved.

I would respectfully request that you treat the contents of this mail as privileged and proprietary and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a result of this correspondence because am contacting you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication. Hence, I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you and mutually beneficial if pursued to its conclusion with the necessary speed and determination.

The bank is at the verge to closing an investment account of high value belonging apparently to your family member who reportedly died intestate five years ago leaving behind an estate/capital with interest of a substantial amount of money in a now bonded account at the SNS Bank of Netherlands and till date nobody has come forward or put application for the claim. In line with our internal processes for account holders who have passed away, we officially instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the estate. This investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. Hence, my official capacity dictates that I am the only party to supervise the investigation and just recently, it occurred to me that you and I could work on this matter and share the proceeds equally being that you both share the same last name which put you in the right position to be the only suitable apparent heir of the estate though you may not be biologically related to him.

However, to maintain some level of security/confidentiality, I have intentionally left out some privileged information and urge you to contact me today and let’s discuss the modalities/logistics of realizing this goal.

In compliance with the standard requirements and to double-check with my record and ensure that you are indeed the addressee of this mail, I need you to reconfirming your details which include but not limited to your contact information, your full names (no initial please) and your age range, (Date of Birth) as prove of maturity to handle a project of this magnitude. I will provide you with all the privileged information/legal documents relating to the deceased customer and his bonded investment account when I receive your information and double-checked same satisfactorily. I will also guide you through the entire process of the transaction and ensure that the deal is consummated without the breach of the laws.

I am aware of the consequences of this proposal and humbly request that you discard this mail if you find no interest in this project. I ask that you should not be vindictive if you are not interested in taking this further. Please notify me and delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not ruin my career by contacting the management of my bank simply because you are not interested in my proposal. You may not know this but people like me who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run the whole private banking sector in the banking industry. I am not a criminal and neither will you be one by working with me on this deal. This may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Opportunities like this seldom come and therefore I am committed to realizing this goal in spite of all odds. I need your courage and commitment to actualize this transaction and together we can make it happen.

I do expect your prompt response. Or feel free to call me anytime on this number: +44 – 70 430 20619 while I am still here in London and let’s examine the possibility of a lasting business relationship.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Ewald de Bever (Mr),
Oracle Database Analyst,
SNS Bank of Netherlands.

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