Mike Rothman – The 419

I do get some random stuff in my email, but this one takes the cake. Evidently, someone calling themselves Mike Rothman is running a 419 scam. Here is the message, then we can decompose it to see the typical “tells” that indicate that there is a REALLY high likelihood the message is bogus.

To: mike_rothman@XXXXXX
Subject: RE: Att.
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 22:36:52 +0100

Dear mr Rothman,

I do not know you either, so I will send you some pictures of my estate in Germany, you can look at it at google earth from above. Sended you the adress before.



My age is 50, married with a German Lady, having two Sons.

Further, I ‘am not interested in the company you are working for, only how to get the money to Germany. BUSINESS ! ! !

Now it’s your turn.



From: mike_rothman@XXXXXX
Subject: Att.
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 21:25:38 +0100

I received your quick response to my proposal. To formally introduce my self to you, I am an old top banker and have worked with Scottish Investment Trust for so many as one of their fund manager. I am an international staff, presently in Scotland office.
Scottish Investment Company is registered in Scotland number 1651. I started work with SIT 2004 and I am responsible for the European Jurisdiction Equity. I was with Abbey National Asset mangers before I moved to SIT, and a member of CFA institute.
I graduated from University of Dundee and Edinburgh where I got my BSc and MBA in civil engineering respectively.
First, I believe it is necessary for me to express my profound gratitude to you for even responding to my email with interest. I am obliged to you for your gracious concern and I hope your assistance is really genuine, although through your email I would know if I could count on you at least to an extent.
I sincerely, appreciate your interest to assist me in this project. I need a reliable foreigner who would be of assistance to me in order to have the funds transferred.
However, I would like to be convinced of your willingness, commitment and most of all your trustworthiness to execute this deal with me. I certainly cannot compromise any of these virtues, you know what I mean, and I have my principles.
Without doubt, you will eventually earn the benefits or our partnership if we are able to work things out and have the funds relocated within couple of weeks or thereabout and thereafter disbursed to your other respective accounts.
Indeed, it is necessary for me to be certain of the person to whom I will be entrusting this deal, my trust will definitely not be given out lightly, I need to be fully convinced that you are a matured person with some integrity, we should at least have respect for each other, this I would say is very essential.

Scottish Investment Trust (SIT) was founded in 1887; The Scottish Investment Trust (SIT) today is one of the world’s oldest and largest independent, self-managed investment trusts with assets of over £45 billion at 30 September 2007.
We have been working to provide solid returns for investors for over 115 years – through a number of bull and bear markets and the most volatile conditions. Our approach has generated real long term growth in both capital and income.
When you invest in SIT you are buying shares in a company that invests in the stocks and shares of companies on the world’s major stockmarkets. Your investment has the potential to grow both through incomes from dividends and through capital growth from increases in share price.
SIT has a diversified equity portfolio and invests in a broad spread of international equities. Although there is always an element of risk involved in any stockmarket investment, we aim to lower this by spreading investment over numerous companies and sectors around the world, while actively searching for opportunities to benefit our investors and maximise returns.
We aim to provide steady growth in both capital and income, whilst prudently spreading investment risk. We consider these to be the key requirements for anyone seeking a solid core holding for their investment planning.

However, in my First Email Proposal to you, I stated that the said funds came out as a result of the following:
“”I handle all our Investor’s Direct Capital Funds and secretly extract 1.3% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP) per annum on each of the Investor’s Magellan Capital Funds.
As an expert, I have made over £27.4m from the Investor’s EMRCP and hereby looking
for someone to trust who will stand as an Investor to receive the funds as Annual Investment Proceeds from Scottish Magellan Capital Funds.

EXPLANATION: I have more than 158 Corporate Investors attached to my PORTFOLIO who’s Capital Investment Funds are been managed and administered by me alone.
This Capital Investment Funds has a value of US$5.4Billion FIXED. The $5.4billion is been used for trading in Stock Market, Crude Oil and Lending with Profit Returns.
Every Year, each Corporate Investor is expected to receive 20% interest from his total Investment Capital Funds which is paid to the Investor annually as their Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP). However, I made average of 21.3% from the Investor’s Investment Capital Funds annually, which have exceeded our targeted 20% of Total Investment Capital Funds. On this note, I retained the extra 1.3% from the 21.3% as my personal profits for managing the Capital Investment which is this £27.4m. On the other hands, I cannot claim this funds without presenting someone to stand as an Investor otherwise our Establishment will convert the funds into the Company’s Treasury. This is why I came to you for the deal to take place.
DURATION: If you are very serious as I am, we will have this transaction concluded with 25 Banking days from the date of start.
However, for such a business of lofty magnitude, I think the most important thing is for us to build a strong association between each other so that I can be able to trust you because I have been betrayed by so many people even by my co workers that I have now decided to play my cards very close to my chest. I will like this deal to be secret and confidential. No third party. Just between you and me. Do not discuss it with any Scottish Investment staff to avoid jeopardizing my work and position.

Before we go into this deal, I will like to know about you.
Following this mail, send me your telephone number so I can call you to discuss on the modalities of the transaction. You may as well call me on my number +4XXXX so that we can discuss on the modalities of the transaction.
Mike Rothman

From: XXXX
To: mike_rothman@XXXXX
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 13:09:36 +0100

Dear mr. Rothman,

I’am a businessman, Dutch, living and working in Germany have several companies.

off course I’am interested for the 30%.

When this is phishing I’am not interested and can you better try to find someone else.
I will not pay any money for taxes, transport, lawyers, barristers or others.



To be clear, I haven’t called the numbers to truly verify it’s a phishing scheme. Who has time for that? But this message would have been on the express train to the circular bin for a couple of reasons:

  1. The complicated story – The scammer uses a fairly complicated story, which would really require an investment professional to figure out whether it’s kosher or not. But all that complicated vernacular contributes to building a credible front in the form of the Scottish Investment Trust, which is a global and well known investment house.
  2. The request for “confidentiality” – The fact that this guy is claiming that he’s got some additional funds because he “out-performed” sound like a hoax to me. Also the fact that he’s requested confidentiality, even from other SIT personnel means this is a ruse.
  3. The fact that he needs a “foreigner” to place the money – Again, this just sounds funky. If he outperformed the expectation, I’m sure he’d be due a nice bonus from SIT. Not an illicit $35 million dollar payout that he needs to get out of the country.
  4. Other inconsistencies – You can’t see the domain (I removed it), but it’s a public email service in Australia. Yet the phone number he provided (I removed that also) is in the UK. These are inconsistencies that you need to catch.

But most of all USE YOUR HEAD. Seriously. Even if you play the lottery, you need to take action to buy the ticket. Beware of strangers offering gifts in the millions of dollars. If it sounds too good to be true, it pretty much is.

Instead the victim shared information about his life and family. He attached pictures of his house and put in addresses and phone numbers (which I removed to protect the idiotic). It’s just ridiculous.

As Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute. Don’t you be one of them.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Security Mike's Blog authored by Mike Rothman. Read the original post at:

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Mike Rothman

Mike is a 25+-year security veteran, specializing in the sexy aspects of security, such as protecting networks and endpoints, security management, compliance and helping clients navigate a secure evolution to the cloud.

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