Lawyers get their own special kind of spam. Did you know that? No, you thought lawyers have a perfect life sitting in hot tubs with fancy judges and luxuriantly stroking the smooth wood paneling in America’s courtrooms. Well, newsflash: Lawyers don’t have perfect lives. And lawyer spam is the second biggest reason why. (The number one reason? When you tell your aide to claim that he is the father of your love child and then he goes and writes a book about it and tells everyone that you are the child’s father! Being a lawyer is hard sometimes.)
But sometimes, of course, the spam is not a pain, but a pleasure. This is because lawyers are taught to pay attention to the careful crafting of language, and spammers are too. That is how you end up with some of the most wonderfully crafted sentences you can imagine, in spam. For example, note the syntactical discipline and attention to craft in this email, with an opening line so perfectly constructed that I have actually started putting it in many of my legal briefs:
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics.
I am writing following an opportunity in my office that will be of immense benefit to both of us.
One of our accounts with holding balance of 15,100,000(Fifteen Million One Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterlings) has been dormant and has not been operated for the past 8 years.
From my investigations and confirmations, the owner of this account a foreigner by name Christian Marty (Concorde pilot) died in Monday, 31 July, 2000 along with other 109 families in an AF4590 plane crash and since then nobody has done anything as regards the claiming of this money because he has no family members who are aware of the existence of neither the account nor the funds.
We are to share this money between ourselves and also donate 10% to charity if you are really interested in this offer you should contact *******@yahoo.com
I appreciate Dave’s attention to my personal ethics. It’s a nice way to introduce me to his personal ethics, which involve taking fifteen million British Pounds Sterling from the estate of an airline pilot who died in a horrible plane crash before the money can be claimed by the pilot’s grieving relatives. The ethical part is where Dave offers to donate a full 10% to charity. I would even be willing to donate a small part, maybe 2-3%, to the pilot’s grieving relatives too. Dave and I are practically drenched in personal ethics.
I also appreciate the respectful and courteous tone of this email:
How are you today and business in your country? I am ****, Bank Manager of bank of Overseas,Taiwan. I contacted you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this communication.
[long explanation of how we can get some money from yet another dead airline pilot]
I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the consequences may be, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients.
Awaiting your urgent reply.
By the way, don’t bother verifying this email, I’m pretty sure the bank of Overseas,Taiwan is a legit bank. I actually think I can remember reading somewhere that the bank of Overseas,Taiwan specializes in collecting and distributing the estates of wealthy dead pilots. “The bank of Overseas,Taiwan: Success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold.” I think this is a smart tagline, because there are plenty of banks out there that try to tell their customers that riches sometimes come on a platter of gold. This is not true, as is well understood by the bank of Overseas,Taiwan. And it’s only when you understand that wealth and success do not come easy that you can devote your life to getting rich by stealing the estates of dead airplane pilots.
A typical pilot’s carry-on luggage
But these emails are just about possible gains to be had in the long term, using complex bank transactions and even more complex grammatical structure. I expect much more immediate benefits as a result of this excellent email I received today, from a sender titled “OFFICE MAIL”
Attn: THE DIPLOMAT IN AIRPORT WITH YOUR PARCEL
We wish to inform you that the diplomatic agent conveying the consignment box valued the sum of $3.9 Million United States Dollars misplaced your address and he is currently stranded at your International airport now.
We required you reconfirm the following information below so that he can deliver your consignment box to you today.
CURRENT MOBILE NO:………………..
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:………….
A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT:…………………………….
Please do contact the diplomatic agent with the email below with the information required.
Contact Person : AGENT. ***** ****
phone number:+** *****-****
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information. NOTE : The Diplomatic agent does not know that the content of the consignment box is $3.9 Millions United States Dollars and on no circumstances should you let him know the content. The consignments was moved from here as family treasures, so never allow him to open the box.
Yours in service
Director Foreign Delivery Department
DHL Courier Company
It’s one thing to understand that there’s some treasure in some far off land waiting for you to arrange to pick it up. It’s another thing to realize that a Diplomat is waiting in your international airport, just standing there, carrying a consignment box– a consignment box— that is $3.9 Millions United States Dollars. The Diplomat has made it through customs and security with his $3.9 Millions. In fact, he has no idea that he has the $3.9 Millions, because it was moved here as family treasures, you see. Obviously, I will never allow him to open the box. Never. So I just need to send a little personal info., including a full copy of my passport (I’m guessing that’s so they know I’m sophisticated enough to deal with a British Diplomat), and then I just have to go pick up my consignment box at the airport. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with the Diplomat, but I assume he knows what to do. Anyway, gotta head out to the airport now to pick up my consignment box. Finally, after all my hard work, family treasures on a golden platter. It’s why I became a lawyer in the first place.