Regardless of spam filters, messages like "My Dearest One" manage to sneak through:
"A Banker and accountant with the BIAOBANK Abidjan. I am the personal accounts manager to Mr. Robert, a National of your country, who used to work with an oil servicing company here in Cote d' Ivoire.
"My client, his wife and their three children were involved in the Kenya Airways crash in the coasts of Abidjan in January 2000 in which all passengers on board died...."
Here's where a simple query can reveal if this is a unique letter or if it's been around for awhile. Take a phrase and copy it into Google or your favorite search engine. Don't bother putting quotes around it. The search engine will match as many words as it can. If you put quotes around the phrase it will find the exact matches, however, if someone made minor tweaks to the letter (like adding 'ill-fated' before Kenya Airways, which some letters do) those won't be retrieved.
I grabbed the phrase: My client, his wife and their three children were involved in the Kenya Airways crash in the coasts of Abidjan. That's more than necessary. You could also limit it to the big nouns: client, wife, children, Kenya Airways, Abidjan. The combination of those words is pretty unique.
The query returns results like:
Lets Blog Spam - We Hate Spam, We Log Spam
Email Scam: Senegal / Kenya Airways Crash - 419 Legal - Internet
Scam Of The Day » Blog Archive » URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED
That's enough to conclude that this email has been making the rounds for a while. By the way, some facts in the letter are accurate: Kenya Airways flight 431 crashed off Abidjan on January 30, 2000.
Here's the challenge: what "fact" in the quote above is not accurate?"
Next time you receive a scam/spam email, query it to get the real story.