Dealing with Spam Email

I got the following email this morning:

On 19 Mar 2011, at 05:52, “Judith Alexander”<> wrote:

Help me carry out my last wish. With your help, i want to donate to the needy, the poor and
motherless baby’s homes. I am very sick suffering from breast cancer. Reply if we can work together.

Which according to the header originated in Brazil (“Received: from User ([]) by”). Now being a kind-hearted soul and not remotely cynical, I thought I would help, so I replied as follows:


I am sorry, but I do not run a needy, poor and motherless baby home, and as much as I would like to accept your very kind donation, it might be better being sent to the Barnardos Organisation who have been doing this kind of work for many decades.

You can send your very kind donation to them here:

I hope you are able to do this before you get too sick and die from your breast cancer.

Thank you for your letter, I enjoyed working with you.



I wonder if they can read between the lines as well as I can? <grin>


Apparently they not only cannot read between the lines, but cannot read either. I received the following by the next day:

My Dear friend,

Thanks for your mail and your concern. I hope my first e-mail did not embarrass you? If it did, I apologize for this. I am  a 56 years old woman from Salzburg, Austria. I am a new Christian convert suffering from long time cancer of the breast. My personal physician told me that I may not live for more than six months. My late husband and son were killed during the Gulf war. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. I am willing to donate the sum of Eighteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($18.5Million) to the motherless baby’s homes, needy poor, charity homes and widows too. I want you to assist me in making this my last wish realistic.

It is for this same reason I have randomly searched through the internet email directory to find somebody who has the predisposition to accomplish the task of passing on a privately kept fund of this sum to charitable organizations as he or she deems fit, since I cannot do this myself due to my failing health. It was this random search that yielded your contact email address with which I sent you my first email. Note that this was just a probing move to establish  contact, because I am sure you know as well as I do that most people  would snatch at the offer considering the large amount involved and  more also since the disbursement of this fund would be entirely in  the hands of the claimant.   For this reason I felt that after our initial e-mail communication I should be able to determine if we can proceed based on certain indices as well as intuitive feeling I would deduce.

The fund in question is privately kept and I wanted to put it in capable hands for disbursement. Other such funds that I left to my relatives to disburse to charity were all plundered and used for their personal purposes. for this reason I have decided that within the confines of my hospital room and the privacy of my computer (to which I have internet connection) to look for a suitable person to transfer ownership of the deposit to, and after claiming the money, disburse 90% of the total fund to various charitable organizations of your choice in various countries and then retain 10% of the money for your effort. The money is in physical cash in $100 and $50 dollar bills packed inside two metallic trunk boxes deposited in the security vault of a private finance/security company in South Africa.  This is not a business proposal and I do not expect any returns or share of the money.

I am dying and I have distributed most of my earthly possessions to various individuals, groups and organizations.

If you would be able to help me fulfill this last living request, I would be very grateful even at my grave.   Please get back to me on the following.

1) That you are in a position to be trusted with such a large amount of fund, and that you have a heart for charity.
2) That you would not have any problems locating the right charity and human aid groups to disburse the fund to. It would be nice to know what charities you have in mind to donate the money to.
3) That you will be Godly enough not to put the funds to your personal use to the detriment of its intended purposes
4) That you are willing to contact the security company holding the deposit to discuss the terms of releasing the trunk boxes.
5}.That you are prepared to travel to South Africa (if need be) to personally handle and oversee the release of the funds to you.
6) That you fully understand this transaction up to this stage and you are ready to proceed under these terms.

Please get back to me as soon as possible or you can as well finalize with Allied Security Company.

I wait to hear from you,

Ms. Judith Alexander

Being a caring and deeply charitable person, I felt I could not ignore this plea for help from an obviously desperate and god-fearing dying woman, so I responded immediately:

Dearest soon to be dead Judith,

Thank you for your reply, which given your very poor state of health,
I did not expect so quickly. I am pleased that your physician has
given you six months to live, as I suspect this will be a long and
interesting conversation. Or maybe not.

I note with approval that you have extended your wish to include
widows, charity homes and the needy – is there no limit to your
generosity? I am truly humbled by your kindness in thinking of others
as you approach what is almost certainly going to be a long, lingering
and painful death. You are an example to us all.

I am gratified that your random search of all three billion internet
users has shown my email address to be worthy of your benevolence,
though I am a little confused at your apparently lack of awareness of
my gender – Paul being a well-known male name, I wonder why you felt
it necessary to say “he or she”. I put this down to your advanced

I am concerned that you have all of your charitable gift in the form
of cash, so I have contacted the British Embassy in South Africa and
asked them if they could arrange to send an armoured vehicle to your
location just outside Johannesburg (according to your IP address which
is – in the general area of Douglas), and collect this
money. I am sure you agree that this is the safest way of moving your
very kind donation from your current location to the worthy causes you
so desire to benefit from your imminent demise. It being collected in
an official government vehicle will also reassure you of my good

If you could please let me have your exact address by return of post,
I will let them know where to send the vehicle and its attendant
well-armed security force and collect the money. If you like, I can
ask the South African telecommunications service to supply the exact
location of your IP address if for security reasons you do not want to
send it by email. Please let me know which you would prefer.

Once again, I thank you for your extreme generosity in what must be a
very difficult time for you, especially as your family seems to be
made up of complete scumbags who have made off with the money you have
already asked them to donate to charity. May the fleas of a thousand
camels infest their private parts.

I await your reply with interest, as do the South African security
services who I have copied this email to.



About Paul Harper
These posts represent the collected thought of Paul Harper. Usually rants, occasionally lucid, always easily ignored. Read, don't read, your call!

2 Responses to Dealing with Spam Email

  1. Alicia says:

    I was recently sent the same email a week ago and was tricked into helping her, I did not give her any valuable information, I hope for I am not a person who has money at all, because I thought I could help her find the charities and still assist her, but my mother has found in her labtop that we have been bugged and the labtop is hacked from another location that people are hearing us and even watching us through her apple labtop, I was first suspicious of the neighbors but that ive researched and found your same email exactly the same and this being 2 whole years later, I am certain just my address made her and who ever she is working with hack my home, we have no money here, we are low income and I do not even have a bank account so I am not scared that this fraud person will harm me but I am concerned that they will try to in the future, what a crazy and scary thing to happen, I kept my conversations very Christian and talked about my own problems with my grandmothers cancer and myself with my tumor, how could I not talk back with someone I felt connected to, but now I feel ashamed and I shall never trust the internet again, I am disgusted with how so many scams can be sent through emails like wolves in sheeps clothing, I hope this horrible person will not pursue me any further for I am not someone that has any value anyway, but I know how a name is a name and can be taken and used and made into a negative reputation, what more can be done about this, I have no clue, and I just hope she does not contact me again, because ive emailed her today that I odnt think I can help her any further and I have deleted her emails and info she supposedly trusted me with, I pray to jesus that this will stop in its tracks now.

    • Paul Harper says:

      It is a hard lesson to learn sometimes, that trusting people you don’t know does not make you a good person, but an easy target. Fraudsters everywhere rely on that trust, whether they are sending emails, selling fake goods door-to-door, or standing on a pulpit.

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