I have gotten many email scams in my inbox.  Some very creative, some pitiful, but this one caught my attention, and I had to share its ridiculous appeal with all of you.  Here’s what I got in my inbox:

Hello,

My name is Mrs. Elena Tan. I am a dying woman who has decided to
donate what I have to you. for charitable goals.

I am 59 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago,
kindly Contact my lawyer through this email address or you can call
his private Lin :( +855976826769) (barr_richardlee9@sify.com) if you
are interested in carrying out this task, so that he can arrange the
release of the funds ($10,500,000.00)to you.

My lawyer’s name is Barrister Richard Lee. I know I have never met you
but instincts tells me to do this, and i hope you act sincerely. Thank
you and God bless you.

Mrs. Elena Tan.

As you can see the grammatical and spelling errors are abundant, which is always a tell sign; but the sad story details, and the names, is what I got a kick out of.  So, I decided to google some of the details.  I discovered that I had gotten a short version of the scam, a shortened letter.  In the longest version, her husband had died 2 years ago, leaving her everything he worked hard for.  It also added that she was touched by God to donate the money …. Immediately, I felt offended.  How could they send me the short version?  Does that mean I am gullible, naive, stupid, or an easy prey?  Was there no need for an explanation, more detail to reel me in?  Plus, I know the meaning of the word barrister. 

I kept googling and came across the website of a lawyer in England (a barrister) with the name of Richard Lee.  His firm, called BLS for British Expatriate Services, offices in Malta.  Their clientele is the expatriate.  The services range from legal to banking, and other.  I found this very curious.

Then, I decided to google Mrs. Elena Tan.  Of course, many Elena Tan came up, but I also found more versions of the scam, every time more detailed and …. long – unlike my short version.

All this left me with one thought, that inspiration for writing comes from everywhere.  I can certainly think of a story, utilizing the above letter as writing material.  So next time you receive an email scam, view it in a different light - as writing material.  *But don’t forget to mark it as a scam, and delete it from your box.

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