Fresh Bait?

I’m confused. I got this email today, and though I know that it must be some sort of scam, I can’t for the life of me imagine what the sender could do if I responded. The email:

Good day,

My name is Mr. John Marthins with <real-sounding organization>, and I am interested in potentially ordering medical parts from your store. Iâ??d like to know the availability and cost of the specifications below:

  • 30 Lithman Classic II Stethoscopes
  • 30 Digital Blood Pressure Monitors (Any brand available for small cuffs)

Upon the receipt of your costs and availability, I can supply you with my Visa account number or other payment method to prepay funds for the order and shipping via US Global Express Mail Service (3 to 5 days shipping) to:

<real-sounding organization>
<real-looking address>
Nigeria , 23401

I look forward to hearing from you,

John Marthins
(<real-looking email address>

This can’t possibly be worth it just to confirm legitimate email addresses, can it? How could you use this to scam someone out of money? At best they’ll get a bunch of “Sorry, you wrote to the wrong address” emails in return.

I don’t get it.

Note: although the yahoo address in the email seems reasonably legitimate, I am quite sure this is a spam-scam of some sort — the actual address from which the email came is too fishy for words.

3 Responses to “Fresh Bait?”

  1. fred Says:

    funny, i just got a spam message from “john marthin,” which seems like a pretty unusual name for this to be a coincidence. I’m wondering how it got through yahoo’s filters in the first place. One thing to note is the email came from one place, and he’s asking you to respond at another. Here’s the message:

    [note: some details removed by editor]


    I was attracted with your personality. After going through your profile it gives me more confident that you can be trusted though we haven’t meet each other before.

    However, I am Mr. john marthins I work with [real-world bank] (security and deposit department.), Vienna branch, Austria. This is where I discovered this deposit of US$2.5 million unclaimed fund. I want you to help me clear this deposit that have been secretly moved to a security/deposit company overseas, of which I have secured every document for smooth release of the deposit to whomever I appoint as a partner to this position. The deposit involves the sum of Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($2.5M).. What I require from you is secrecy/ sincerity and commitment for us to achieve this goal.These are the necessary requirements I need from you:

    1. Your full name and address
    2. Your Phone/ Fax number/Address,
    3. Your Occupation / Age/Status, State/Country.

    Other modalities will be discussed as soon as you get back to me on this email address, [address redacted], I will highly appreciate your urgent positive response.

    Best Regards
    MR.John Marthins

  2. Strider Says:

    Fred — Yours is a pretty standard “Nigerian Bank Scam” email. If you reply, they string you along and try to get your bank account info out of you.

    As for the similarity of names, I would have to say that, yes, it’s a coincidence. Spammers produce random names out of a firstname/lastname database, but considering billions of spam email are sent every year, the same names are bound to pop up.

  3. Flüge USA Says:

    They don’t only try to get your bank account, they also try to get you to “lend” them money, so they can do the paperwork or bribe the officials, to prepare everything so that you can get the money.

    Is it possible that those people are more active again? I haven’t had such Scam Mails for years and in the last weeks more than 5. And not only them, I got lots of “You’ve won” Scam Mails too.

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