A British approach to the Nigerian email scam?

When I got back from the gym this morning, I received the following email message at my work email address (which is unusual because our spam filters are pretty good) and which looks to me like a British approach to the Nigerian email scam. This kind of thing is a waste of time, clutters up email and in general is incredibly annoying. I really wish that our spam filters were more intelligent. Here is the message:

This information is for you from Campbell Law Firm and we implore you to give it priority attention!

Pursuant to our fundamental commitment to human rights, social justice and equality which still underpin everything that we do whether in the courtroom, or out in the wider world, we wish to seek your cooperation and guidance, if you could perhaps provide us with detailed information as you share the same last name with our late client who died on July 7, 2005 London terrorist bombing leaving no trace of his immediate family members information.

Over the years, we have worked indefatigably and uncompromisingly to locate any of the relatives of our late client and all to no avail hence, the need for this correspondence. We would be delighted to have you as the apparent heir of our late client hence, you share the same last name and could possibly be somewhere in his family tree. We have been mandated by his bankers to provide any of his family members to claim his lawful assets with the bank because it is legally incumbent on us to do so as the legal representatives to the deceased.

We have decided to take this chance with you as our last resort to have you stand as the apparent heir of our late client since you both share the same last name as we have secured an order of mandamus from the Probate Registry to locate any member of his family to claim what rightfully belong to him and for this reason, it remains your legal right and responsibility to protect the interest of your family in this regards.

Contact me in person for additional information and to discuss the modalities of this brief. Your earliest response is imperative and shall be appreciated if you provide your Resume Information to with your feedback.

Thanking you for your kind attention in anticipation of your response ASAP.

Respectfully submitted,

Alexander Marshall QC, Campbell Law Firm,

320 Bethnal Green Road Bethnal Green, London E2 0AH

Tel: +44 (0) 701 112 8147. URL: [removed for security purposes]

EDUCATION: LLB (Hons), (University Coll., London ). QC 1992, Recorder (Criminal/Family/Civil) 1993 to date.

Now, with a telephone number, website and address it would seem to be legitimate. I did a quick search and could not find anything related to this specific type of spam online. However, there are a few things that remain highly suspicious:

  • While the From: line of the message is from the address alex.marshall@campbell-law.co.uk, it appears to be spoofed. The Received header is from “nobody by wc3.forethought.net”. So is the Sender and Return Path
  • The message says “if you could perhaps provide us with detailed information as you share the same last name with our late client who died on July 7, 2005 London terrorist bombing leaving no trace of his immediate family members information.” And yet there is no mention of my last name anywhere in the message, which is suspicious as well.
  • I know of no one who would fit the description of the person this letter refers to.
  • The URL for the law firm, which is removed in case it is a Trojan site, is “under construction”.

The bottom line here is that even if this email were legit, I don’t think I’d be interested in getting involved in what would ultimately be lots of paper work and cost lots of money. But of course, it’s not legit, it’s spam camouflaged as something that seems more intelligent than the Nigerian email scam.