A few days ago, someone emailed me and said he is the branch manager of an overseas bank. He asked me to join him in an agreement. He has a deceased customer who is a citizen of my country and who has some funds deposited in his bank. He has no one who will take it, so he chose me as the "kin" of the customer. I don't know the customer and have never known him before.

Is this legal? What should I do? Is this a scam?

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    Have you never heard the term "Nigerian Scam"??? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_scam
    – littleadv
    Aug 14, 2013 at 5:41
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    Remember when somebody offers you free money, you should ask yourself what have you done to deserve it and that too from a person, about whom you know nothing about.
    – DumbCoder
    Aug 14, 2013 at 10:30
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    And DC's comment above may be too short to be an answer, but is the perfect answer. Short, simple, dead-on. Aug 14, 2013 at 17:07
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    Is this a scam? Yes.
    – Jay
    Aug 5, 2015 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


This is definitely a scam. Don't reply to the email at all. Don't forward it or save it. Just mark it as spam/junk in your email client and delete it.

These emails are known as Nigerian scams or "dead customer scams", and there are several variations on this theme. For example:

  1. Someone will email you claiming that they need you to stand in as the next-of-kin in order to access some money. They'll probably ask you to send them various fees, e.g. for processing, bribes, taxes, etc. and in return, they promise you a cut of the funds. Obviously, there is no money. They're trying to scam you out of money or personal information (which they might use to impersonate you and get more money from you).

  2. They might tell you that 90% of the funds transferred will go to you, while 10% will go to the manager. They'll send you a personal check, money order, or even a legitimate-looking cashier check, etc. from a foreign bank and ask you to send them a personal check to the manager (or some "family member" of the manager). They cash your personal check, while the check/order they sent you bounces when it reaches the issuing bank. Not only do they have your money, they also have a check with your personal information, e.g. name, address, bank account numbers, etc., on it.

These are extremely common scams. The safest route is simply to completely ignore the email and delete it immediately.

If you have already replied to the email but haven't sent any personal information, everything I said above still applies. Ignore all further emails from them and delete them immediately. Your email address may receive more spam in the future because by replying, they know that you either have a weak spam filter or are more likely to be fooled by such scams. Regardless, ignore all further emails, mark them as spam/junk in your email client if possible, and delete them immediately.

If you did send any personal information in a reply, monitor all of your bank accounts, credit cards, credit reports, etc. and check for any fraudulent activity. Notify your bank, credit card company, etc. immediately if you see anything remotely suspicious.

Also, never reply to an email like this again. If you have any doubts about an email, ask about it here before doing anything.

DumbCoder made an excellent point too:

Remember when somebody offers you free money, you should ask yourself what have you done to deserve it and that too from a person, about whom you know nothing about.

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    @nunu See my edit. If you haven't sent them any personal information, you may receive more spam in the future, but everything I said still applies. Ignore any other emails they send you and delete them immediately. Aug 14, 2013 at 3:03
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    @nunu Identity theft (for example). If they have your personal information, they may open bank accounts, lines of credit, etc. in your name and use them to obtain funds. Remember that there isn't a "bank manager" on the other end. It's just a scammer. Aug 14, 2013 at 3:08
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    @nunu He is a scammer. There is no 50%-50%. There is no money. He isn't a bank manager. I promise you that every single person on this website will tell you the same story. Ignore any other emails he sends you. Aug 14, 2013 at 3:12
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    @all: I report it as phishing scam in my yahoo.
    – nunu
    Aug 15, 2013 at 2:33
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    @nunu Smart move. Just ignore any other emails they send you and monitor all your financial accounts if you did send any personal information in a reply. Aug 15, 2013 at 2:36

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