It’s new to me, anyway. I’ve gotten more than my share of get rich quick offers from Nigeria, and literally hundreds of versions of the “you are a winner of our annual Lottery conducted in United Kingdom” e-mail, and no telling how many foreign financial ministers who have access to zillions of bucks they need to get out of the country.
But this is a new one. The e-mail follows:
CHUNG AND ASSOCIATES
SOLICITOR AND ADVOCATES
NO. 24, JALAN MELAKA RAYA 31,
TAMAN MELAKA RAYA
I am David Chung, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine,
that shares the same last name as yours, died as the result of a heart-related
condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all
the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in
Sumatra Indonesia . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
I can be reached on (
) for more information.
My late Client has a deposit of seventeen point five Million Dollars
( US$17.5 Million Dollars) left behind.
Barr David Chung
Attorney at Law
A quick Google finds similar e-mails received by other people from Barrister Chin Leong, Donald Lai (Esq.), William Robert Dines & Co., “Mohd Roslim, an attorney at law,” etc., etc. You get the picture. Usually they come from Malaysia or somewhere else along the Pacific Rim, but I’ve seen Portugal mentioned, too. It's apparently been circulating on the net since 2007 at least, although there seems to be a recent spate of the messages in recent months.
Then again, perhaps it is legitimate offer. I mean, they’ve cited a Wikipedia reference to an actual event, so it must be true, right?
I'm kidding, of course. Suffice it to say that it is very, very unlikely that someone from the Far East was able to track down your e-mail using only your last name, and that there is no money to be had, although it’s a safe bet that if you contact them, they’ll say you’ll be a very rich person if you’ll only wire them a couple of thousand dollars. Yeah, right.
The only reason I can imagine that these scams continue to propagate is because someone occasionally bites on these offers. I've actually met people so desperate for money they've actually contemplated sending in the cash. Don't do it, and if you do, don’t say we didn’t wan you.