This is a new take on an old scam…

Got the following email earlier today:

From: “Mrs. Mellisa Lewis” <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 14:00:52 -0200
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;


My name is Mrs. Mellisa Lewis . I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I will be going in for an operation later today.I decided  to WILL/donate the sum of (Fourteen Millions Two Hundred Fifty Eight Thousand  United States Dollars) to you for the good work of the lord.

Contact my lawyer with this email: Name: Mr Jay Mchenry
Email:( (+44 792 435 0212)

Tell him that I have WILLED 14.258M to you by quoting my personal reference  number JJ/MMS/953/5015/GwrI/316us/uk. As soon as you contact him with this details quoted above, he should be able to recognize you and help in claiming this amount from my Bank.Be informed also that i have paid for the state tax on this money to be transferred to you.

Meanwhile you are advised to keep this mail and it contents confidential as i really want my wish accomplish at the end of the day.Please do pray to God for my recovery.

God Bless
Mrs. Mellisa Lewis

First, one has to wonder why the recipients are undisclosed if this email was supposed to be directed to me. How many other people is she willing her money to? The second thing one notices is that this person clearly doesn’t know anything about me or she wouldn’t be hoping I’d use the money for “the good work of the Lord.” Then there’s the whole oddness of being instructed to claim this windfall before she’s actually undergone the, presumably destined to fail, operation. If she was clever enough to suss out my email then you’d think she’d just have the lawyer contact me after she’s dead. And while I must give these scam artists credit for a much more literate sounding letter than the usual bunch that show up in my inbox, there’s still some telling typos and odd phrasings that give away the game.

Well, other than the obvious cockup of suggesting I’d be doing the good work of the Lord.

9 thoughts on “This is a new take on an old scam…

  1. Be informed also that i have paid for the state tax on this money to be transferred to you.

    Warms the cockles of my heart to see that the State has already benefited from this hoax. I hope they spend the money wisely! 😉

  2. Doh! You weren’t supposed to tell anybody. Now her wish won’t be accomplish at the end of the day!

    I always wonder why they never use a more realistic sum like $10,000-100,000. $14 million is the kind of money you leave to your cat, not a random stranger.

  3. First, one has to wonder why the recipients are undisclosed if this email was supposed to be directed to me.

    She was afraid Satan was looking over her shoulder and might find out who she sent it to. Clearly 14 mil could do a lot of work of the lord. Think of the air conditioned doghouses, theme parks, crack, and prostitutes 14 mil could pay for.

    You can have a lot of fun with scammers if you’re willing to invest a bit of time in it. If you’ve got an internet phone or a few bucks to burn, try calling the lawyer and demanding he cut you a check in exchange for a percentage of the money and mail it to you. Or just email him and demand the check or Western Union. They’ll spend hours doing backflips trying to justify needing your bank account for a transfer rather than just sending you a check.

  4. When you wonder who the hell falls for this shit, just remember that they are looking for the total sucker that isn’t bright enough to catch the warning signs. They’re using the PT Barnum principle. Sometimes I wonder if they’re intentionally a bit unbelievable so they can weed out the skeptics.

  5. I like to think that one of those e-mail’s (not this one in particular, just one in the many billions) was actually a genuine, honest gesture of someone trying to do something nice with their fortune after they’ve gone. And that it went straight into a junk box.

  6. Pingback: Gifted to serve the Lord « P e r ∙ C r u c e m ∙ a d ∙ L u c e m

  7. I’m not so sure this is a scam, Les. The precise sum of $14.258M has a ring of verisimilitude about it- who could make up a number like that? Go for it, I say, and for this advice, I will accept a measly $1.4258M, merely 10% of your winnings. You can pay me in advance, in small unmarked bills.

    cheers from snowy Vienna, zilch

  8. I blog with a guy that lives in India and he writes back to them and leads them on. It’s pretty hilarious, he’s posted fake photo’s of himself as a terrorist or whatever. He uses movie stars’ names in some of them. They never catch on.

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