Bill gates once said that if everyone had to pay few cents per sent email, spam would just go away. Here’s another proof of why he was once again wrong…

My sister received a letter, not an e-mail, with the familiar to me tone. A dead millionaire has some money to be given to me, the lucky winner.

The redacted letter(all images are clickable):

My sister thought it might be true, but she did the right thing of showing it to me. Few blatant things jumped out at me.

1. The company logo was printed on a color printer instead of a pre-printed letterhead. If this is indeed coming from a financial lawyer, I would expect him to be able to afford a letterhead.

2. They couldn’t even align all the lines of the address properly to left justified

3. The signature is clearly printed. But, benefit of the doubt, I have seen legitimate people having signature on a stamp to avoid hand-signing everything. In this case, however, the black text is seen over the blue signature, which means the signature is a picture below the text.

4. Even if they avoided signing by embedding a picture instead of stamp, using a picture instead of a stamp is just ridiculous. It’s clear the picture of a stamp is under the yellow printed line, which, contrary to what one would expect, is not a pre-printed letterhead.

5. ozu dot es. Really. Could’ve at least set up a fake domain. Anyone can register for an e-mail there. Going back to the argument that a financial lawyer can afford his own domain/website. I don’t make nearly as much as a lawyer does, yet I got 2 domains.

6. The envelope leads me to believe that the letter came from Britain. The LMS NCC Class WT stamp, which is a British steam engine, can be found on Royal Mail’s website

As I was preparing to write this post, I visited my parents over the weekend, and they handed me a letter with a WTF expression. It was the same text template, except the millionaire at issue has a different first name (obviously same last name to make it personal), different amount of money, coming from different lawyer and much better looking letter, yet still not pre-printed letterhead. By the way that my dad’s first name was misspelled, it became absolutely clear that the addresses were taken out of white pages. Oh and, this time, the letter came from Portugal, making it an international effort.

None of my friends have heard of this via snail mail, so I’m pretty sure this is a new thing. Not sure what to do about this, or if something can be done, but it’s time everyone educates their grandmas, who might not have known what e-mail is, on dangers of 419 scams. Clearly these criminals make enough money from this to be able to afford a dollar per letter.