Mr. Alex Yacouba (Or Whomever It May Concern)

You know those emails we all get from complete strangers in Burkina Faso?  Well, occasionally I like to respond to them.  I edit them, give them a letter grade, and send them back.  This is my most recent reply, and my second blog post on the topic (see my previous post here):

Please see my response in red below:

Good day,

Thanks you for reading my mail and I am contacting you concerning a customer and an abandoned huge amount of money placed under our banks management years ago, I contacted you independently of my investigation and no one is informed of this communication and I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you and me and the family in future. 

This is a run-on sentence, among other unrecognizable things.  Should read: Thank you for reading my mail (if nothing else, you are very polite). I am contacting you concerning a recent customer and an abandoned sum of money placed in the management of my bank years ago.  (It would be best to identify yourself by name and position prior to this statement.)  I have contacted you in confidentiality (although not 'independently of this investigation', as you say, since it is concerning the investigation), to inform you of certain facts that you will find of interest.  Could add: This will primarily (and by primarily, I do mean solely) benefit myself.

My name is Mr Alex Yacouba, I am in the Auditing and Accounting Manager with Bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.In my department i discovered an abandoned sum of (US$7.5M DOLLARS) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer (MR. RICHARD BURSON from Florida, U.S.A) who died along with his entire family on November 1999 in a plane crash.

Poor syntax.  Should read: My name is Mr. Alex Yacouba, and I am the Auditing and Accounting Manager of the Bank of Africa.  (You either are or you aren't.  You cannot be 'in the Auditing and Accounting Manager' unless, of course, something paranormal has occurred in which case I think you should include this information as well.)  Could also read: My alias is Mr. Alex Yacouba, and I am pretending to be the Auditing and Accounting Manager of the Bank of Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  I have recently discovered an abandoned sum of 7.5 million USD in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers, a Mr. Richard Burson of Florida.  Sadly, Mr. Burson died in a plane crash in November of 1999, along with his entire family.   

Editor's Note: Might I suggest a different form of death for the victim?  You and your accomplices seem particularly fond of death by plane crash and, quite frankly, it is getting rather dull.  This email would be much more fascinating if Mr. Burson and his entire family died of, say, bee sting.

Since this unfortunate event, this Mr. Burson's money has been dormant for years in our Bank without claim, and I don't want the money to go into If it continues to remain unclaimed, it will be placed in the Reserve Bank of  Burkina Faso (RBBF) 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.  I would like to propose that you, my hopefully-witless friend, will pose as the next-of-kin to the deceased customer, and claim the funds so they may be released.  Could also add: I will only take a small percentage of, say, 7.5 million USD, for my troubles. 

Editor's Note: Why, Mr. Yacouba, I am, in fact, Mr. Richard Burson's cousin! His late mother is my aunt.  I am in shock concerning my dear cousin's wealth!  We always thought him the poorest of our family, especially after he took up residence under that old bridge and began rooting through dumpsters for a living.  How providential that he should choose to save his millions for me, his dear next-of-kin, who will immediately donate the entire 7.5 million to the nonprofit organization A Home for Stray Cats.  I do like cats.

... Two can play at this game, my dear Mr. Yacouba.

Please I would like you to keep this transfer as a top secret between me and you alone ok I promise you that i will direct you on how this transfer will go successfully if only you can abide to my instruction.Upon receipt of your reply, I will give you full details on how the business will be done. 

This is, quite possibly, the most poorly-constructed paragraph of your entire email.  It may be summed up by the following: I ask that you keep this business confidential, and will shortly direct you on how to proceed.  On the other hand, it does seem rather fitting that you should write 'if only you can abide ... my instruction.'  The answer, unfortunately, is no.  I cannot.  I cannot even abide your grammar.

Kindly send me this the information below to have trust in you that you would betrayed me after the sucess  so as to ensure you are the one held responsible for my scam while I escape with the aforementioned funds.

(1) Your full name...
(2) Your address...
(3) Country..
(4) Age...
(5) Occupation...
(6) Private telephone number... 

Editor's Note: I'll get right on this, Mr. Yacouba, just as soon as I decide upon a suitable identity for Mr. Richard Burson's cousin. What do you think? Female? Of medium height and build.  Name ... Brunhilda ... no!  Consuela Shlepkiss.  Professional scuba diver and under-water basket weather living in, say, South Dakota, perhaps. Age 47.  I think you should also know about her ... I mean, MY, hobbies. I like to play the pinball machine on Saturday nights.

I will send you my details of this transaction as soon as i hear from you thanks, trusting to hear from you immediately with your contact information,  (Redundant and therefore unnecessary.)

My regards,

Mr. Alex Yacouba (Insert real name here.)

... Now to see if he'll write back.


  1. OMG, too funny, I have responded to a couple requesting their info. upfront, LOL!!! :)

    I did forwarded one once to the Oregon Attorney generals office because it was so well written I really thought someone might actually fall for it :(

    Have a lovely weekend, cheers, T. :)

    1. Smart thinking, forwarding to the Attorney General's office. Some of the emails are very convincing, and heart-breaking. I hate to see people taken advantage of because they have such kind hearts.

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