I posted this the other day after I received the following email, I only put it up as a bit of a joke as I easily tell it is a scam or fake and that if I take the bait I will not receive anything and more likely have to pay to be scammed . However on noting the amount of hits the deleted article received I have retrieved it and updated the details with a waring If you have received this email please note that it is a scam and destroy, no one is ever going to give you money they don't know what to do with for a fee, remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is, they play on the ill gotten gains.
"The 419 scam originated in the early 1980s as the oil-based Nigerian economy declined. Unemployed university students first used this scam as a means of manipulating business visitors interested in shady deals in the Nigerian oil sector before targeting businessmen in the west, and later the wider population. Scammers in the early-to-mid 1990s targeted companies, sending scam messages via letter, fax, or Telex. The spread of email and easy access to email-harvesting software made the cost of sending scam letters through the Internet low. In the 2000s, the 419 scam has spurred imitations from other locations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, and, more recently, from North America, Western Europe (mainly UK), and Australia.
The number "419" refers to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code (part of Chapter 38: "Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating") dealing with fraud. The American Dialect Society has traced the term "419 fraud" back to 1992." (from Wikipedia.)
This is the copy of the letter as received by me
I am Mr. Mark G. Thackray, the Auditor General, Imperial Finance Limited UK. In the course of my auditing, I discovered a floating fund in an account, which was opened in 1990 belonging to a foreigner who died in 1999. Every effort made to track any member of his family or next of kin has since failed; hence I got in contact with you to stand as his next of kin since you bear the same last name. He died leaving no heir or a will.
My intention is to transfer this sum of US$15.5Million Dollars in the aforementioned account to a safe account overseas. I am therefore proposing that you silently partner with me and provide an account or set up a new one that will serve the purpose of receiving this fund. For your assistance in this venture, I am ready to share the entire fund in the ratio 50% for you and 50% for me as soon as the fund is confirmed in your account. After going through the deceased person's records and files, I discovered that:
(1) No one has operated this account since 1999
(2) He died without an heir or WILL; hence the money has been floating.
(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known beneficiary.
If I do not remit this money urgently, it would be forfeited and subsequently converted to our company's funds, which will benefit only the directors of our firm. This money can be approved to you legally with all the necessary; documentation approvals in your name. However, you would be required to show some proof of claim, which I will provide you with all and also guide you on how to make the applications.
Please reply so that I can send you detailed information on the modalities of my proposition. You must keep this transaction strictly CONFIDENTIAL UNTIL THE FUND IS CONFIRMED IN YOUR ACCOUNT, if you are ready and interested to work with me kindly mpt response.
Mr. Mark G. Thackray
Imperial Finance House Ltd