The Nigerian letter scam by which you are promised huge amounts of money through an email under various guises, such as an inheritance from a relative you never knew existed or a public official who needs help getting money out of his country, is a scam that has actually been around since the 1500s when it was known as the Spanish Prisoner scam.  While the scam promises money for nothing,  the truth is once you start communicating with the scammer, you are asked to pay one fee after another.  One thing that this scam has in common in all of its incarnations is that if you respond to the scam, you will not end up getting anything except a lesson in learning to be more skeptical.  Many people have paid thousands of dollars to Nigerian letter scam artists before they realize that they have been the victim of a scam.
I don’t publish every one of these types of letters that I receive, but I wanted to share this new version of the letter that Scamicide reader Marty Kenney received earlier this week.
“Good Day.
We wish to notify you again that you were listed as beneficiary to the total
sum US$9 of Million only in the intent of the deceased. On my first email I
mentioned about my late client whose relatives I cannot get in touch with.
But both of you have the same last name so it will be very easy to front you as his official next of kin. I am compelled to do this because I would not want the finance house to push my clients funds into their treasury as
unclaimed inheritance.
We contacted you because you bear the Last name with our Late Client and
therefore can present you as the Beneficiary to the inheritance since there
is no written WILL or Bequest.Our legal services aim to provide our private
clients with a complete service. We are happy to set-up all modalities and
administer Trusts,carry out the administration of estates. All the papers
will be processed in your acceptance of this Transaction.
Note that you are to furnishing me with the requested information’s below
(1)Full names.
(2)Contact address.
(3)Telephone and fax numbers.
If you are interested do let me know so that I can give you Comprehensive
details on what we are to do. Waiting for your response.
Yours faithfully,
Barr. Philip Mark”
Although it should be apparent to everyone who reads this email that it is a scam, the very outrageousness of  the email is most likely intentional because as more people become aware of the Nigerian letter scam, the scammers do not want to waste their time on potential victims who may be skeptical of their scam, so they often send out emails like these that are so outrageous in an effort to catch only the most gullible and greedy.  You may also pick up on grammatical errors, such as “Note that you are to furnishing me” in the email which is often an indication of a scam perpetrated by someone whose primary language is not English.  The name of the lawyer used in the email of Philip Mark is a name that appears in many Nigerian email scams.  Another indication that this is a scam is that the salutation is not directed to you by name.  In fact, this particular email was sent as a mass email mailing to many people who did not, as indicated in the email, share the same name.
If you receive a particularly inventive or interesting Nigerian email, please share it with us here at Scamicide.