Copyediting Spam

We all get endless amounts of spam – and I usually just delete it, but sometimes the first few sentences are so poorly written that I just have to open and read it. And, of course, edit it:

from John Smith <>
sender-time Sent at 12:33 AM (GMT-07:00). Current time there: 4:33 AM. [Interesting, your time zone is not Ireland but rather in the Pacific Standard Time Zone]
reply-to [at least bother to standardize your sent from and reply to…]
to [couldn’t bother to auto-fill the to field? lazy.]
date Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:33 AM
subject Personal, get back to me as soon as possible.

Good day,  [Overly formal, try “Hello” or “Dear …” oh, wait, you don’t know my name.]
My name is John Smith, and I am a senior partner in with the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) [frankly, John, no one cares about the acronym] of Allied Irish Bank Group (Senior Security Specialist [wait, I thought you were a senior partner. Is this another title, or just a cheap ploy to insert the word security in the hopes of lulling me into a false sense of it?]). The TAB is conducting a standard process investigation on behalf of Allied Irish Bank Group “AIB Group” [the acronym and unnecessary quotes make you sound less professional and credible] which involves on the circumstances surrounding an investment by a client who shares the same your Llast Nname with you and also the
circumstances surrounding his investment at AIB Group.

I will  would like to intimate share you with certain fact that will may be of interest to you. The client died intestate and nominated no successor over to his investment in with the bank. Since you share similar detail with the late fellow his name, I am prepared to release the deposit account to you and on the condition that we shall share the money 50/50.

I am aware of the consequence illegality of this proposal; I therefore ask that if you find no interest are not interested, please, discard delete this email and do not be vindictive [why would I be vindictive? just because you’re trying to scam me, doesn’t mean I want you to get arrested….oh wait.]. On the other hand, Iif you decide to work with me, contact me through at the my email address below and I will initiate the process.

I am the only one that is aware of this situation. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is you refusing to work with me. If you agree we can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting soon.

John Smith. [really? this isn’t even trying to look real]

Dear John,

I appreciate the risk you’ve taken alerting me to this wonderful opportunity. I’d be happy to arrange a meeting with you, perhaps next time I’m in Ireland, or Indonesia, or wherever you actually are. I hope you don’t mind if I bring some friends along, because my mother always taught me to not meet strangers from the internet, even if they are offering me 50% of an undisclosed sum of money. It better cover my plane ticket.

Before we go any further, though, it seems as though you’ve managed to make Senior Partner at an Irish Bank without a high school degree or equivalent education in English. That’s quite impressive. It also seems as though you may not be entirely sure of my last name, and since the whole scheme depends on it, perhaps you should verify with me that you have the correct person.

Thanks again for randomly emailing me and offering me money in exchange for my personal information. It’s not every day an opportunity like this comes along.



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