Business SPAM

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  *******


Dave ****

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:

Dear friend,

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.
Yours Sincerely,
Mr *****

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.

treasure chest

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”


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.


Please do contact the diplomatic agent with the email below with the information required.

Contact Person : AGENT. ***** ****
Email; **********46@****
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
United Kingdom

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.

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19 Responses to Business SPAM

  1. Christian says:

    This stuff is so funny to me.

    “Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics.” is one of the best lines I have ever heard. Not only will I begin all my emails that way but also any speech I make in a business meeting or sale, or simply a casual conversation with a friend.

    The Bank of Overseas, Taiwan. lol

    And Andrew Young is a laywer too, dog, so pretty much every slimy person in that whole scandal is a lawyer. I notice that there aren’t many window cleaners making the news doing horrible, rotten things these days. Just sayin.

  2. shannon says:

    Ya. Airline pilots make so much dang money, do they have to be dead for us to cash in on some of their wealth? I always thought the black square bags that hook onto thier little rolly carry-ons were flight manuals. To think they’re actually carrying treasure chests full or riches and jewels for their lovely wives…and mistresses. I don’t even think they fly the airplanes. I’ve heard they just watch DVDs, nap, and run their fingers through all their gold while in the cockpit while the autopilot safely lands in the Hudson.

  3. Christian says:

    I forgot to say that my favorite part of these scam emails IS THAT PEOPLE FALL FOR THEM!!!

    Have you seen all the Dateline’s on these Nigerian scams? People fall for it and send lots of money or personal info. It’s really more sad than funny, I guess.

    Speaking of which, Davis, didn’t you get mixed up in some Turkish used car racket in DC or something? Am I remembering that right?

  4. Layne says:


    I sincerely hope that this email meets your personal ethics. I have $10,000 that I owe you from the Clarity Window Washing days. I just need your bank account # to make the deposit for you.

  5. Christian says:

    You actually probably do owe me some money from our Clarity Window Cleaning days. Just send cash.

  6. Davis says:

    Kook, no, you are 100% mistaken.

  7. Davis says:

    The best part of all those emails is the personal banker who learned from his rich clients – clients who, presumably have worked very hard in their respective fields – that “success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold.” You have to really work hard to get success and riches. And by working hard he means help rob people.

  8. Andrea W. says:

    These are seriously amazing. I love how they just kind of say in so many words if you have any kind of ethics this is not for you, you big poor square.

    speaking of spam, I got one recently, clearly not the high falutin’ kind you lawyers get, but one from some one claiming to have felt undying love for me (used my first name which also happens to be in my email address) for years and finally had the courage to tell me I just had to sign on to this website and get an account and give my credit card info and he would reveal himself.

  9. Ben Pratt says:

    I love how you’re supposed to insert a copy of your passport on that one line. Tiniest. Copies. EVAR.

    Physicists receive different spam, too. Here’s one I got twice this week:


    The usual magnetic dipole moment is only a momentum.
    Please see the annexed paper and give me your opinion.
    Thank you.

    ******* *******

    One time my buddy and I did in fact visit some physics spammer’s webpage, and we found some delicious errors in his errr, work. At least he had cool animations.

  10. Wade says:

    I appreciate how helpful the bank of Overseas, Taiwan is in the understanding of the business opportunities of immense benefit. Their careful use of adjectives in matters like this don’t go unnoticed.

    Some highlights:
    “personal” ethics vs. professional ethics or transcendent ethics
    “consignment” box rather than a post office box or simple cardboard box
    “private” banking clients instead of the more common institutional or commercial banking clients
    “family” treasures instead of pirate treasures or just plain old treasures
    and my personal favorite… a “diplomatic” agent vs. a tactical agent or perhaps an administrative agent

    Thanks for clearing things up, guys.

  11. Christian says:

    “Hey Morris, are you going to the public appointment with our banker with all the other folks today?”

    “Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you Tim, I was actually accepted as a private client by the Bank of Overseas, Taiwan, a few months ago.”

    “Really?! Wow, that sounds pretty fancy. How does that work?”

    “Well it’s different, but quite nice. They don’t publish your account balances to the public and everything is just very private.”

    “Wow, I wish I was a private client.”

  12. Daniel says:

    Has anyone tried responding? Here was the missive I sent to the poor Mrs. Florence Decca, a wealthy Sierra Leone widow who wanted me to accept $7,500,000, some of which to help educate her son Ubanna in the U.S.:

    Florence and Ubanna—

    I am very sorry about your loss, and your illness. I am a very honest and a God-fearing perosn, adn I wolud lyk to help with your plight. I hope you will trust me. I will aloways love you and trust you. I responded Quickly because I did not want another person else to handle the task please. This transactio n requires the only the Strictest of the Confidences, and I will not let you down. Ever, or never. Your son Ubanna souunds So smart.

    Before anything happens to you, contact me! we will work the out the details.

    May the Force be with you,
    Sam Walton

  13. Daniel says:

    Subject: I thank you so much for your prompt reply

    Dea respected Daniel Bell,

    I thank you so much for your prompt reply to my mail. My dear, I have suffered for this Neck Cancer for many years. I am moved to contact you for assistance after my long praying and fasting asking God to provide me an honest person that can be trusted to receive and use it as i directed below to assist the poor and help my son Ubanna to further his education. Actually, we don’t know each other in person but I believe God that you will not betray this trust that i have in you.

    Infact your mail have giving me more caurage to trust you more and to hand over this fund to you without fear of betrayal.

    This is how i would want this fund to be used:
    (1) 15% of the total fund for you for your efforts and assistance to safeguard this fund.
    (2) 5% for any expenses which you may incur in course of this transfer.
    (3) 40% will help to invest for Ubanna and help him come over to your country to further his education.
    (4). 40%, you will use for the well-being of the poor in your country and elsewhere in the world.

    I have informed the bank about you that you are the new beneficiary of this fund and that you will be contacting them soon for this fund transfer to your account. I also explained to the Bank manager my intension to transfer this fund to your account. The manager being a good and kind man, he showed his sympathy for my health condition. He assured me that as soon as you contact the bank, he will personally direct you on the best way to receive this fund in your account within 4 days. But before i give you the contact of the bank, i would want you to provide me with the below requirements.

    1. Your name
    2. Your contact address
    3. Your telephone
    4. Your age
    5. Your Occupation
    6.) Would you use the fund as directed you and that the only will take out from this fund is the 15% that i promised to offer you and 5% for your expenses.
    7.) Will you be able to assist my son in getting his travelling documents to come over to your country after the fund is transfered to your account?

    Before I go for surgery operation by next week, I shall forward you the bank contact for you to open conact with them as the new beneficiary of this fund. Please always pray for me for a successful operation. I shall send you the deposit documents as soon as i receive your reply.

    Thanks for your understanding. Please, keep this confidential for security reasons and for my son’s life sake.

    Your urgent reply is needed please.

    Your beloved sister,
    Mrs. Florence and son Ubanna.

  14. Daniel says:

    My second (and final) response:

    Subject: Re: I thank you so much for your prompt reply

    Most respectable Florence—

    I am So happy that we have found each other in grace. I am aloways happy to help someone in need, and I have very much trust that it is Fate that has brought us together for this good fortune of me helping you. However I am quite secure financially, so I will have no need of your 15% commission although I am Thanking you for your kind thoughts of me. I think I shall put the 15% commission that you have so kindly offered me to help Ubanna’s Education. I hope that the doctor will have the best skillz when operating on your neck.

    Unfortunately I am currently under an Agreement not to disclose my address, but I can provide my telenumber as soon as I find a new phone Shortly.

    So here are your requirements:

    1. Sam Walton (I do not know why my email has the different name, I am sorry)
    2. (Secretive)
    3. I am changing my phone number and will give you my number when details are in store.
    4. I was born on March 29, 1941, which is a very important day to me because that day Wisconsin beat Washington State in Basketball NCAA Championship 39-34. I am 68.
    5. I run a chain of discount stores ( i am financially secure)
    6. Of Course you trust me that I would of course use the fund as direct, and my 15% I do not need and It will b e put in charity.
    7. I will do All in my powers to help Ubanna, but I will have to be sure that it is him as I do not want to help a Stranger as a mistake! You willl understand,

    My brother is living in Abidjan. Perhaps he is contacting you or Ubanna in the near future to arrange the details?
    Peace Always My Dear,

    Sam Walton

  15. Ryan says:

    Shannon, all I’m saying is keep your eye on his fortune after he dies. There are going to be a LOT of people after that pot of gold, my friend.

    Andrea, what an awesome way to tell someone you love them. And seriously, I can understand people biting on that one- the desire to learn someone has a secret crush on you is just too strong. What’s a few credit card numbers in exchange for that kind of revelation?

    Ben, your physics spam was so awesome. Physics spam? Written with attempts at physics talk? It is so unbelievable that someone would ever conceive of such a thing. Props to the physics spammers, I think they’re even cooler than the normal business spammers.

  16. Ryan says:

    Wade, I knew you’d go with me on the language. The use of a consignment box for transport of family treasures with a diplomatic agent is seriously about the best combination of strange concepts and descriptive words I can come up with. By the way, if you’re interested, I’ve been researching deals on consignment boxes all day, and I’m finding some pretty good sales.

    Finally, Daniel: You are the man. I have always wanted to engage these guys, but never really dared somehow. So awesome that you went round for round with this lady, and your syntax was so precise. I think the religion spammers, the ones who are praying and fasting to find you are about the best ones out there. You should try your hand at that yourself, now that you’ve mastered the language.

  17. Massey says:

    I realize that Nigerian-generated e-mail scams are as old as the hills, but the one I received this morning (see below) was particularly effective. Why? Have you ever met a Goodluck you didn’t like and trust? That’s what I thought. No wonder the good people of Nigeria elected him a Senate commission member of the Federal Executive Council of NIgeria.

    Attention: Dear,
    This is to notify you of the new order on the release of your contract fund held in the Second Meeting on 19th February, 2010 by our new President DR. GOODLUCK JONATHAN (G.C.F.R) and the Federal Executive Council of Nigeria, Senate commission member, and other members of staff. That your contract payment Of $10.5M. Will now be paid by one of the three listed options.
    (2). Diplomatic Courier Service.
    (3) ATM CARD Payment.

  18. Braden says:

    I won’t even tell you the kind of spam that drama teachers get.

  19. Ryan says:

    I have to agree that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (G.C.F.R.) sounds like an exceedingly trustworthy individual. You should do it.

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