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Favourite 419

Nestor Makhno

FNG / Fresh Meat
Feb 25, 2006
Penryn, Cornwall
Like anyone on the internet, I get my fair share of 419 emails and they usually get deleted without even opening. Occasionally I stop and read them...

This one stopped me dead in my tracks. It is so appallingly executed, badly written and totally implausible that even the greediest fool in the world would look and say, "Wait.... What? A Polish return address?"

From The Desk Of
Baker & Mckenzie Law Firm,
1 Essex Street, London WC2R 3HY,
United Kingdom.[1]

Before i[2] proceed, May i[2] kindly[3] identify myself ,
My names are [4]Barrister [5]Harry Goldman and i[2] work as a lawyer to [6]the above mentioned law firm in London[7] Uk[8].
This mail is written to solicit your assistance to be presented [9]as next of kin to my late Clients[10] Mr Frederick M Wong and his wife Ms Lilla C wong[11]
who died in a plane crash some years back.

They lost their lives aboard Egypt Air Flight 990[7] which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on October 31 1999.
You can View[10] this page for further information http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm[12]

He [13]deposited the sum of fourty[14] seven million United States Dollars ($47,000,000) in a financial firm in Europe and
i[2] am in custody of the Certificate of Deposit and all other vital documents he had while alive.
In His[15] will before he boarded that ill fated flight , He[16] said [17] and i[2] quote[7]" When i[2] pass on , my wife automatically becomes the beneficiary of all my estates and funds
but infortunately[18], His[16] wife was on board with him in that ill fated flight so, the both couples[18] died at the same time.
Ever since after[19] their death, the bank where he deposited his funds has contacted me severally [20]for his next of kin to claim his funds and become the beneficary [21]of the funds,But i[2] have tried all my best [22]to locate anybody that is related to my late client all to no avail [23]and that is why i[2] am contacting you for us to avail ourselves of this rare and Gods given [24] opportunity.

The deal is very simple and clear[7] as i[2] have used my experience as a renown[18] lawyer to carve out legal modalities of claiming these funds[25] from the bank where they were deposited. I will have to empower you with the Certificate of Deposite (C O D) and pose you to the bank as the Next Of Kin to my late client[26] thereby making you the beneficiary of these funds. I have been mandated by the bank to do this before the end of this month as failure to provide the Next of Kin will attract funds confiscation [27]by the Government of Netherlands.
I do not want this to happen to the deposited funds, hence i[2] contacted you to partner with me in the claims.

NB: We can invest these funds in Energy as a joint venture or share the funds in 60% /40% ratio [2]
Disregard this email as the contents are highly confidential if you are not interested and respond to me asap if you are interested in the deal.

Harry Goldman Esq

I was honoured to be chosen out of all the people in the world to be approached with such a deal :D ..and very decent of him to suggest how we spend our ill-gotten gains.

Here's a breakdown of errors....

1 - This is a law firm of this name in London, but it isn't based at this address. Also, why would you tell random strangers your address if you are trying to incite them to help commit fraud.

2 - I am pretty sure most lawyers know to use a capital letter for the first person singular subject pronoun.

3 - I doubt 'kindly' has been used in this way in the last 200 years.

4 - Plural names, indeed.

5 - Nobody in the UK uses their professional role as a title except the military, police, clergy, judges, doctors and professors.

6 - Incorrect preposition.

7 - Comma is called for here.

8 - There's a country called 'Uck'? Is it near the UK?

9 - A proper syntactic tangle here and no mistaking.

10 - A totally inappropriate capital letter.

11 - A totally inappropriate lower case letter.

12 - Though this is based on a real story (hah - proof it's true! the internet says so) his clients appear to be Chinese-American... there is a relatively low chance of my passing myself off as their relative. ;)

13 - A lawyer, or any even vaguely educated writer of formal English, would never begin a paragraph with a pronoun in this way.

14 - Pretty much a rookie spelling error there.

15 - It seems the client has reached deity status, indicated by automatic use of a capital for the third person pronoun.

16 - Again with the deification.

17 - I am pretty sure people stipulate, request or state things in wills, rather than saying them... what with them being written, and all.

18 - A couples of very infortunate errors here, making the writer seem less renown.

19 - Adverb frenzy? Preposition car-crash? You decide.

20 - Well 'severally' actually is a word but, sadly, the wrong one for this job.

21 - A shame to spell this word wrong here but spell it correctly later. Still, practice makes perfect.

22 - Because, presumably, a merely 'some his best' kind of crook is not good enough for a discerning potential partner-in-crime such as myself.

23 - This sentence needs some punctuation before asphyxia sets in.

24 - Well, I suppose if your Client is a deity then you probably do have a pantheistic outlook.

25 - I wouldn't have gone there with words such as 'modalities' in this context but, then again, I taught English rather than adventured in it.

26 - The client's demotion from godhood appears to coincide with my own apotheosis.

27 - Damn English and its stupid lack of a genitive case.

I am sure I missed a few... but that is enough for one brief email.

I am aware that 419'ers often try to lull their victims into a false sense of security by using deliberately poor English but you can take these things too far.
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FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
I would watch a reality show about people pretending to fall for some of these and going with it. Traveling to Nigeria, dealing with the "unforeseen" additional costs, checking out how well things are staged there... that kind of thing.

I mean, there have to be people dumb enough to fall for these or we wouldn't be getting any anymore. So while the proposed "deals" are obviously not real the scams are. I'd love to see some of them in action.


FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
I would watch a reality show about people pretending to fall for some of these and going with it. Traveling to Nigeria, dealing with the "unforeseen" additional costs, checking out how well things are staged there... that kind of thing.

I mean, there have to be people dumb enough to fall for these or we wouldn't be getting any anymore. So while the proposed "deals" are obviously not real the scams are. I'd love to see some of them in action.
Basta - They won Euromillions (with english subtitles) - YouTube
Pest eens een internetfraudeur - YouTube
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Reactions: Shadrach


FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 11, 2011
Used to have a friend who actually fell in one of this scams, and sell a guitar to a niguerian guy and wait for the check to come just to found out it was all a scam.

How i miss her.


Grizzled Veteran
May 2, 2006
Elitist Prick Ski Lodge
Those videos were great! Though a bit risky, you'd never know if one of those guys are carrying a weapon.

Didn't get much of the second video but I got the part about they having him by the "kersen" so to speak :D

Oh by the way, the most insane piece of spam I ever got was an insane rant, about conspiracies. Don't think they wanted anything but I saved it. Longwinded but worth a glance, insane stuff:


Reminds of a certain Mr. Toad I would say? :p
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I. Kant

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 9, 2007
I used to have a collection of these one-time-only legal offers.

What I really love about them is how they try to use high-brow language, but are given away by such small errors. I actually began to suspect that the small errors are intentional, because they don't want to bait any clear-thinking people who could cause them trouble later on. That way, it's a two-way safety valve: someone with a half a brain cell will not fall for it, while the scammers can be quite assured of getting only the most dim-witted clients.