I am assuming that this is a scam, but I figured I'd ask here and see what everyone else thinks. I got a LinkedIn request from a woman named "Merlie Gansa." I had recently been applying to new jobs, and I have been getting requests from many employers, so I didn't think anything of it. Then she sent me a LinkedIn message saying:

Hello (My Name),

Thank you for connecting with me, I'd appreciate it if you could reach me back at [email protected] as i have a business proposition for you. Regards, Merlie

So I figured she was an employer, and I was curious. I e-mailed her and asked her what the proposition was, and she replied with:

Greetings (My Name),

Thanks for accepting my connection on Linkedin. Let me formally introduce myself to you. I am Merlie Gansa, Financial Manager at Cayman National Bank, Cayman Islands.

I am contacting you concerning an abandoned sum of $22,500,000.00 USD In one of the accounts in my bank . On 18th June, 2006, A customer called (Alexander (My Last Name)) a foreign contractor came to our bank for business discussions and investment then a colleague of mine who was a higher officer,and also in charge of his transaction account encouraged him to consider various growth of funds with prime ratings. Then he invested and opened an account with Nineteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only.

Based on professional advice, we were able to spin the initial deposit with profit and interest to $22.5 million U.S Dollars. After few months; my bank sent several notices to him without receiving a response up to date.

It happened that he died without leaving a Will and as the officer in charge of his account now I made several efforts to find his extended family without success. Because of the sensitive nature of private banking, most customers do not nominate next of kin in their investment, also usually in most cases some leave their WILLS in the banks care, in this case; our now deceased client died intestate. After the death of my client the senior officials of my bank contacted me, and gave me a mandate, as his account officer to provide his next of kin who should inherit this said funds.

The board of directors of my bank adopted a resolution and I was mandated to provide his next of kin for the payment of this money within 28 Working days(a Month) or forfeit to the bank as an abandoned investment, which will finally be transferred into the confers of the general revenue of state. In Accordance with the law.

My superiors here in my bank had planned to invoke the Dormant Accounts Law, to confiscate the funds after the expiration of the period given to me.

Fortunately, I came across your name, to my greatest astonishment; I discovered that you and my late client share a particular name. Being convinced by that simple fact alone I believe and I have reasoned very professionally and I feel it will be legally proper to present you as the next of kin of my deceased client, so that you can be paid the funds left in his bank account.

I therefore seek your consent to present you as the Next of Kin to the deceased since you are at an advantage, and equally share his last name, so that the proceeds of this Bank Account valued at, $22,500,000.00 USD (twenty-two million five hundred thousand United state Dollars) can be paid to you. I also glossed over your profile ,to make sure your status or caliber does equate that of a person who can claim and manage such funds afterwards.

We shall both share the funds in a ratio 70% for me and my colleagues who are aware of this dormant fund in question (of which 30% will go to the "Save the Rhino" foundation and IDP's of war/conflict torn societies) and 25% to you, while 5% should be for expenses or as your Government may require as Tax.

I shall compile all the necessary Legal documents that will be used to back up your claims as the legal next of kin to the deceased. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed legitimately with arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law.

Also, at some point I will tell you when you can ask the bank to give you prove of availability of funds in the deceased account. Get in touch with me through this email to enable us discuss further,and stay off the banks radar, I would have contacted you through my office e-mail, but I need to be careful. I will be expecting to hear from you.

Do not try to get in touch with me through our official lines or try to call me because of the sensitive nature of the transaction we have at hand.

Kindly revert ASAP.


Merlie Gansa

So, I'm assuming this is a scam. But I wanted to get opinions. I e-mailed the bank and asked if a Merlie Gansa worked there. I don't plan on e-mailing her back if they respond "no." Thanks!

  • 13
    Absolutely a scam. Run away.
    – BrenBarn
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:06
  • 18
    "I am contacting you concerning an abandoned sum of $22,500,000.00..." I stopped reading here. Think about it: who abandons 22 million dollars?
    – MrChrister
    Nov 19, 2015 at 21:02
  • 8
    To the downvoters: just because the answer is obvious to you doesn't make it a bad question
    – AakashM
    Nov 20, 2015 at 10:40
  • 23
    Do not try to get in touch with me through our official lines or try to call me because of the sensitive nature of the transaction we have at hand. This one should also be a dead giveaway. Nov 20, 2015 at 14:12
  • 14
    Note that the bank might answer "yes", but this doesn't mean the one who contacted you is the same person. I could go to any bank, read the name from the name tag of the teller or get a business card from an employee, and then pretend to be her in an e-mail.
    – vsz
    Aug 1, 2016 at 6:23

4 Answers 4


Yes. If you reply back, they'll confirm that Uncle Alex did indeed leave you $7 million, and you just need to send them a few thousand dollars for taxes and estate fees and then they'll wire you the money. And then there'll be customs fees. And then more taxes. And of course, there will be separate import fees. And so on until you run out of money.


It is absolutely a scam. Anyone who tells you they can give you a large amount of money for free is trying to scam you. Additional warning signs include:

  • reference to an alleged distant relative (or potential relative) who happens to be both recently deceased and fabulously wealthy
  • mention that the transaction will occur in the Cayman Islands (a jurisdiction with notoriously lax financial regulation and hence a haven for money laundering)
  • a request to not contact her in any way that might allow you to verify her identity.
  • use of a generic email domain (outlook.com rather than anything that could be traced to a verifiable source)
  • random capitalization and punctuation errors
  • Those were the signs that popped out at me, too. Thank you!
    – Taryn
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:15

This is totally a scam.

I didn't read the whole thing. Didn't need to after I read "abandoned sum of 22.5 million" which implied part of it was yours to take after you do something for them..

Logically speaking.. No stranger would disclose this to you.

  • 4
    Certainly not by e-mail. Any legit inheritance notification will reach you through lawyers whose bona fides you can easily check. This scam probably predates public mail services, never mind the Internet.
    – keshlam
    Nov 20, 2015 at 1:27
  • I didn't notice it was an inheritance scam. I just knew it was. The OP should've asked herself if she even had an uncle named .... But then people and their greed will fall for anything.
    – NuWin
    Nov 20, 2015 at 21:45
  • 2
    @NuWin: It was pretty clear from the question and from the e-mail that the alleged "Alexander" is not a relative and the OP also knows he is not a relative. Actually, the scammer pretends to try to scam her bank by falsely marking the OP as a next of kin. This has two advantages for the scammer. It's a good pretext to remain off the official communication channels and to not contact the bank. It's also a great trick many scammers use to discourage the victim from going to the police once they realized it's a scam: the victims would have to admit they tried to participate in a fraud.
    – vsz
    Aug 1, 2016 at 6:21

In general, if you think something even MIGHT be a scam, the answer is"yes".

  • 1
    Correct, but useless.
    – djechlin
    May 14, 2016 at 6:23
  • 1
    @djechlin It's basically the same as saying "Trust the smell test" - which is useful. Dec 14, 2017 at 22:25

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