Scam Alert of the Day (Or How Not to Try to Scam People)

I just got this email this morning, to our technical support mailbox:

Thu Nov 13 09:51:09 2008??? [email protected]
Subject:??? ?Pls, I need your kind urgent attention!
Date:??? ?Thu, 13 Nov 2008 10:20:11 -0430
To:??? [email protected]
From:??? ?"[email protected]" <[email protected]>

Dear ,
Pls, I need your kind urgent attention!
I am reaching you with faith after covering your information from reliable source on net. I desired to solicit for your kind assistance to help me achieve my good plan to transfer my money 18.5m to your safe bank account which I inherited from my late parents and to come to your country after transfer of the money for investment of my which I will highly need you full assistance. I will like to establish a good relationship your person which I am deserately need your help to achieve this efforts. I am the only son of my late father, General Alexandral Biros.
He was a gold and precious stones machant when he was alive. He was poison to death by his brother because of land disput, and my late mother died last 3 mounths ago after suffered kidney surgical operation here. When she on hospital bed before her painful death, she advised me to seek for foreign assistance who will help me to receive this money and to leave Africa and help to put this money into good investments with fear of God as I do not have any good idea or knowledge to manage the big money.
I am Siarra Leoniea National, I will be very happy if you can be willing to help me to accomplish this plan as I have decided to leave from Africa and come to your country and resettle for this investment and my security and for my better future and my security and also to further my education while you will be managing the business on my behalf. So please kindly indicate your interest while I will appreciate to feed you with more information on your request. I will like to offer you 20% of the money for your kind assistance.
Anxiously waiting for your interesting reply!Yours,

Billy and Maria Biros.

Let’s examine what Billy and Maria did wrong, shall we?

  • Okay, first off, if you’re gonna use a form letter to try to scam me, at least have the consideration to include my name! And “pls?” What the hell is “pls?” Are you so “leet” that you can’t write out “please?” We’re talking $18.5M and you can’t take the time to spell out “please?” Please!
  • Second, sending the message from you, to you? Come on. That’s a clear sign of a mass mailing! How am I supposed to think you are even remotely interested in scamming me in particular? I feel so lumped in with the rest… generalized even. Don’t expect me to give you my account numbers without some personal attention up front, mister!
  • Third, what the hell is a “machant?” This definitely sounds like ESL for “merchant,” but dude, come on! We don’t spell everything the way it sounds here in this country. If you’re going to scam me, try this neat thing we have called “spell check.”
  • Fourth, you are “Siarra Leoniea National?” What the hell is that? I thought your name was Bob or Bill or “Billy” or something.
  • Fifth, you’re offering me a fifth? That’s it? No way. If you’re going to scam me, you have GOT to entice me with more. I’m thinking 40% is a good starting point for this negotiation. After all, you clearly don’t have anyone else taking the bait, despite your intention of making this message look like it was mass-mailed all around the globe.
  • And finally, you’re awaiting my “interesting reply?” Well, you got it right here, pal.

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