How to write a scam letter

Just like most of you, I regularly receive scam letters. Sometimes I manage to get a wacky correspondence going with the scammers and entertain you all in the process. More often, though, I reply back to scammers to never hear from them again. I’ll keep trying, because I am just the right combination of persistent, bored and emotionally immature.

Today I decided to flip the tables and attempt to design an effective scam letter of my own. I have borrowed what I consider to be the most successful common scam elements and attempted to blend them into the ultimate masterpiece of scam perfection. Or, failing that, into a more-or-less coherent text.

I hope the below first draft inspires you all to reach for the stars and other people’s hard-earned money. May you be successful and morally corrupt.


To: Randomly obtained list of recipients

From: Dr. Abogo Alistar, Executive Christian of Money Corporation, Inc.

Subject: Hello Dearest Friend

Dear sir/madam/unisex android mark CP78,

I hope this letter finds you well, but, more importantly, I hope this letter finds you in the first place. Don’t you be playing hide-n-seek with the letter, you hear me?!

I’m sorry for snapping at you. You didn’t deserve it.

You see, my diabetic cancer AIDS makes me emotional and aggressive. I don’t like the person I have become. Thankfully, I only have 12 days, 6 hours and 17 minutes to live, so it will all be over soon.

I am unfathomably wealthy. If I told you how much money I had, your head would warp out of existence and straight into a parallel universe. Your brain isn’t capable of containing that many zeros simultaneously.

I turn to you with a favour. You see, even though I am rich, my entire family is desperately poor. Due to a made-up set of circumstances which I refuse to bore you with, I am unable to send money directly to my family. Since I am unaware of the existence of banks, despite using the term “banks” in a sentence, I need your help in transferring a sum of SEVEN MILLION UNITED STATES AMERICAN DOLLARS (the green ones) to my family in Ghangladesh, which I assure you is a place that exists.

In return, I shall send you a big virtual hug and a smiley face of your own choosing. Should that not be sufficient, I’ll also send 10% of the above sum to your bank account, using my suddenly discovered knowledge of how banks operate.

All you need to do is simply respond to this email with “Free money? Hell Yeah” in the subject line and fill out the information below:

CURRENT STATE OF INTERNAL ORGANS (please indicate number of kidneys available for transplant):

Please attach a picture of you dancing Salsa with a headless chicken and/or mannequin.

Should you refuse to accept my money, I kindly ask you to share this letter with up to 7 of your closest friends. For each friend you share this with you will multiply your chances of meeting a wish-granting magical Elf by 16.

Your new penpal,
Dr. Abogo Alistar

What do you think? Did I strike the right emotional chords with the letter? Do you suggest some improvements? Even better, can you write a great scam letter of your own?

23 thoughts on “How to write a scam letter

  1. And despite having cleared all my spam last night – and worrying I had nothing to add to your brilliant masterpiece (oh, the shame) – spammers didn’t let me down. There’s a new one this morning, which you’re welcome to use in order to improve your technique. I will only require 90% of the earnings made this way. You can keep the remainder – you see, I am a generous person, no matter what you think 😉
    The National Lottery
    No.366 Commissioner Street

    Dear Lucky Winner
    The National Lottery Day wishes to inform you that you have won
    the sum of R9,000,000.00(Nine Million South African Rand)
    Equivalent to $1,100,648.15 (USD)
    The National Lottery Day. draws was conducted from an exclusive
    list of 13 lucky emails of individual and corporate bodies picked by
    an advanced automated random computer search. No tickets were
    Batch Nr: JBSH/10/JB/SA
    Ref Nr: SH/037/11/06/SA.

    1. Full Name:
    2. Address:
    3. Occupation:
    4. Nationality:
    5. Tel No:
    6. Date Of Birth:
    7. Country Of Residence:
    8. Alternative Email :

    The National Lottery day and the Local Organizing Committee
    (LOC) of the 2012 National Lottery day celebration hereby Agrees,
    That the winning information written above are the orignal winning
    information as it was selected by the computer on 15th day of
    November,2012, And that the winner who these winning information
    has been sent to,will be paid the winning sum of
    R9,000,000.00(Nine Million South African Rand) Equivalent to
    $1,100,648.15 (USD) without fail.You are required to claim your
    winnings by November 30th, 2012 otherwise it rolls over to the next
    Note: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified….

    Claims Officer:
    Mr .Owen Wilson
    Remittance Department Personnel
    Once again on behalf of all our staff CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    Miss Cindy Themba
    Winnings Coordinator

    The information in this email is confidential and intended solely for
    the addressee.The information contained in this message is
    confidential and may legally protected. The information contained
    in this e-mail message is intended exclusively for the
    addressee.Use of this information by anyone other than the
    addressee is prohibited. Disclosure, copying, distribution and / or
    distribute this information to third parties is not allowed.not liable
    for the proper and complete transmission of the content of a sent
    email nor for any delay in its receipt.This footnote also indicates
    that this email has been scanned by a current virus scanner for the
    presence of computer virus.


  2. raeme67 says:

    You most defenitly do not want to see me dancing the salsa with or without a dead chicken’s head!! I agree with Jimmy you should get as much idenification from the people you are trying to scam as possible!
    If that last question was a challange-then a scammer letter post maybe in the works for me-because I cannot let a writing challange go. Good luck with your scamming and a very funny post, indeed!


    • Actually, it was Salsa with a chicken that has no head, but I certainly like your idea a whole lot more! And yes, it is now officially a challenge, if you’re up to it 😉

      Thanks for the wishes of luck, I will certainly keep you posted once I’ve successfully scammed someone.


      • raeme67 says:

        I accept your challenge and be forewarned if you are successful in your scamming attempts I plan on bribing you for a cut of all that dough! – 😉
        As to the chicken salsa thing,regarding my comment -What in the hell was I trying to say?


  3. Jimmy says:

    Shouldn’t the required list include, Home Address, Birth Certificate, Copy of Drivers License, Social Security Number, and a pair of your favorite underwear, you know just so you can make sure the person you are sending the Seven Mil, I mean Six mil to is the one you sent the letter to in the first place.

    As a scammer you really have to be careful, you can’t be sending fake money to the wrong person.


      • Jimmy says:

        Now that we have this straightened out if you will forward the previously mentioned information to me at your earliest convenience, along with your banking information and a money order in the amount of $349.93 or if you prefer a $500 dollar bill, I will deposit the aforementioned 6 mil into your account after the money order is held and inspected to assure it’s authenticity.


      • It’s been sent. My carrier pigeon will be with you within 3-4 working months. In the meantime, may I kindly request you send a cheque for 750$ to cover expenses for pigeon food and wing maintenance? Thanks!


      • Jimmy says:

        I completely understand the need for your request, I have subtracted the 750$ amount from the 6mil waiting to be deposited so you will immediately have your funds rather than waiting for me to forward a check to you, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and will deposit the remaining funds as soon as your pigeon returns the money order. You did place the underwear in a zip-lock baggie..Right?


      • I’m happy we have an understanding! And yes, indeed, zip-lock bag has been provided, which, as you well know, requires a further fee of 6mil dollars. This leaves you owing me a mere 250$ after our settlement.

        I am willing to avoid charging you the 50 dollar administrative fee, if only you wire the remaining 200 to me during today.


      • Jimmy says:

        It is very kind of you to wave the 50 dollar administrative fee and by you waving the 50 dollar fee I too will wave my returning the remaining 200 and subtract this amount from the original 6mil, and being that we have come to an agreement I am willing to throw in the other mil to make it 7,000,000,000,000,000,000 OK (you get the idea I am not going to type a million zeros)

        I am glad you added the zip-lock bag so the underwear is not left waving in the wind, please excuse me if I don’t offer to shake your hand.

        Your bank account number, drivers license, Social Security number, and favorite day time TV program is all that is left to finalize our agreement.

        Please do not delay as many others are itching to take your place in line, unless that is just the underwear.


      • Wait a second. The amount is now 7 million?! That is clearly in violation of our prior agreement. If you are going to offer me an extra million without first discussing it with me then I want no part of this shady business.

        I suggest you keep the underwear and return the zip-lock bag to me in mint condition. Then we can part ways on relatively good terms, provided my pigeon makes it back in one piece.

        I wish you the best in all future endeavours!


      • Jimmy says:

        I have to agree, you are beginning to sound untrustworthy especially since you attempted to have me type out an additional million zeros.

        I will return the zip lock baggie and the pigeon, to keep any harm from becoming the pigeon I will enclose him inside the baggie.

        I wish you best of luck and feel bad that you are missing out on this great opportunity, I leave you now as I have other matters to attend.

        Please keep in mind that you have not unsubscribed from my mailing list as of yet so please click the attached link to do so.


    • You’re so right! Numbers are powerful. They say a number paints a thousand words. OK, nobody says that, but you know what I mean!

      My second variation of the letter will make use of numbers, I promise 😉


  4. Hey, if I copy your letter and make SEVEN MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS, I’ll share it with you. I promise. Just fill in the blanks below:
    CURRENT STATE OF INTERNAL ORGANS (please indicate number of kidneys available for transplant):


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