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My father recently received an email from the Egea Trust, offering essentially £500 cash in exchange for generic information about his offspring.

The link in the email which points to an email list domain (eagatrust.us8.list-manage.com) and searches on google both end up going to the same place; Eaga Trust. The Trust is something my Dad is already a member of, and they've previously paid out cash in the past that seem to be just about distributing funds to members.

In short, it does not appear to be a scam, but I'm struggling to find out why the Trust believes the information is worth £500 per child.

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    I would just recommend asking them. They have email addresses and phone numbers on the Contact Us page of their website. – Vicky Jan 18 at 11:57
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    There are also assorted messages on their FB page about this: facebook.com/theeagaTrust I agree with your assessment that it is not a scam, although hard to tell why that information is worth £500 to them! – Vicky Jan 18 at 12:02
  • Astonishing! What sort of company in fact was the original "Eaga" ? What did they do or make?? – Fattie Jan 18 at 13:14
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    @alephzero I don't see anything on the linked pages suggesting involvement with hard ball contracts or snake oil products. There isn't even a 'controversies' section on the Wikipedia page. – Jontia Jan 19 at 7:25
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    @alephzero that seems both uncharitable and inaccurate. – jcm Jan 19 at 9:19
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It seems from their history page that the Trust has a lot of money to use to benefit its members and their descendants. Membership stems from having worked for the Eaga company at some point in the past, because the founder set it up to have significant employee ownership. When the company was ultimately sold, this ownership turned into a general pool of assets.

The request itself is repeated here and seems legitimate overall. I would guess that they would really like to keep track of children (and perhaps ultimately descendants) of current members so they are aware of who is entitled to the Trust's benefits. On the assumption they do have a lot of money to spare, this is both a way to give some of it out and guarantee a pretty high response rate which will help them work well in the future, i.e. give out more money :-).

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The topic of this being a scam is well covered in the other answer, it appears legitimate.

In terms of why this information is "worth" that amount to them, it could be that the trust has determined the average cost of locating descendants of it's members exceeds £500 per child.

Assuming the trust has an obligation to continue paying out amounts to descendants indefinitely, or is required to take some other predefined action relating to children of trust members when the primary trust member passes away, it would be a significant undertaking to locate children of members if no such information is ever provided to the trust.

So in that case, paying the £500 per child to get an authoritative list from the vast majority of their members now would actually be protecting the value of the trust over the long term.

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