Dr. Abu Salam (Or Whomever It May Concern)

You know those emails we all get from complete strangers in Burkina Faso?  Well, I like to respond to them.  I edit them in red, give them a letter grade, and send them back.  This was my most recent reply:

Please see my response in red below.

Dear friend,

I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. I am Dr. Abu Salam from Burkino Faso the Accounting and Auditing Manager bank of Africa (B.O.A), Ouagadougou    Should read: As we have never met and are certainly not friends, this message should come as a surprise (assuming it doesn't go straight to your junk mail).  I am Dr. Salam (or someone else entirely), the accounting and auditing manager of the Bank of Africa in Burkina Faso (actually I've never even been inside that bank).  

Unrelated: Please note that BurkinA has an 'a' on the end, not an 'o'.

I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our families.   Poor syntax.  Should read: I hope you will keep the content of this message confidential as it is illegal.  My proposal  will mutually benefit both of our families (and by both our families I do mean only mine).   

I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of (usd$10.5m) 10.5 million USD  to your bank account within 10 to 14 banking  business days. This money has been dormant for years in our bank without claim. I want the bank to release the money to you as the nearest person to our deceased customer (the owner of the account) died along with his supposed next of kin in an air crash since July, 2005.  Should read: This money has been in our bank for several years, unclaimed.  The fictional owner of the account died in a fictional airplane crash in July of 2005, along with his fictional next of kin, and the fictional funds can only be released to a relative (preferably also fictional as I would like to keep the entire sum myself).  I am writing to ask if you would be willing to pose as this relative.  (I am also considering writing a short novel entitled Lies, Lies, All Lies and would like you to edit it for me as I can neither write nor lie in a convincing manner.)

I don't want the money to go into our bank treasurer account as an abandoned fund. So this is the reason why I contacted you so that the bank can release the money to you as the next of kin to the deceased customer. Please I would like you to keep this proposal as a top secret and delete it if you are not upon receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 35% of the above mentioned sum if you agree to handle this business with me? And 10% will be set aside for any expenses that warrant on the process before the fund get into your bank account such as telephone calls bills (etc).   Should read: Because I am an unscrupulous person with no regard for the law, I have contacted you in hopes that you will also disregard the law (not to mention I intend to set you up).  Please keep this proposal top secret because I do not wish to go to jail.  I will give you full details on how our business can be executed at a later date, but rest assured that you will receive a measly 35% of the enormous above-mentioned sum if you agree to take the fall for the fraud.  I will also set aside 10% of the funds for any expenses you will incur (but unfortunately it will not cover your legal fees once you are imprisoned).

Finally send your photo or your international passports for more identification.  HAHA.  I mean, should read: Please send your photo and international passport (if you are a moron).

Best Regards,

Dr. Abu Salam  (Insert real name here)

... Unfortunately I seem to have gained a reputation for responding to these types of emails, and I am now their favorite person in the world (go figure).  I get hundreds a day.  It's like my own personal comic book.


  1. Do people actually ever fall for these?? Seriously, you would have to be a moron. :-) (But really, if you aren't going to take this fine Dr. up on his offer, can I? I really could use a couple million dollars :-)

  2. Hahaha I love you. Is that weird to say? Too bad.

  3. oh my gosh! that is stinkin' hilarious, lauren.
    my word.

  4. I love the way you've edited his letter and then sent it back to him...that is an excellent idea where most of us (those of us with a brain that is) who would see through this would just delete it.....good work Lauren and very clever of you.... :)

  5. Ha! You are awesome! I have to clear the spam quarantine and work and its hilarious to me. I even got a spam phone call once.

  6. I played along with the guy and got even more detals to sade acount pardon miss spl and word for word the first email says what you wrote above so weerd

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  8. Today I received the above letter from Dr. Abu Salami. At the very moment I will play with him. I will send him my passport. Unfortunately I don't his home address. At first HE has to send a copy of his passport. For verifying I need a copy of his birth certificate. Oh, nearly I forgot to demand the death certificate. At least I will send your letter.Thank for this extraordinarily good letter!!!!!!


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