Email Scams Keep Getting Ridiculous

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:


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) ( 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.

22 thoughts on “Email Scams Keep Getting Ridiculous

  1. I got the same e-mail this morning, and I emailed the barrister and told him that I did not want to involved in a scam and that I was broke and he e-mailed me back asking for my personal info. In this day and age, giving out my name, address, and number is no big deal to me, and if this is a scam then that is all they are going to get from me. Things that sound to good to be true most of the time aren’t.

  2. Yesterday I received the same e-mail from Mrs. Elena Tan, exactly the same but I went a little further and gave some personal data like address and phone number and now I am really afraid of what may happen from this moment on, so I would like some orientation how I should procedure if something may threaten me about my life or my family or even my bank account, please help me.

  3. Hi,
    There are many scams out there via email. Some of them mimic the looks of your bank’s web page, or most popular sites. A rule of thumb is never to give information on an email. Always go to the original website, since fake emails are sometimes hard to spot. Usually your bank and legit sites won’t ask for passwords or personal information on an email. If you are concerned that you gave too much information, contact your bank right away, and bring them a copy of the email, tell them not to release funds, only per your consent. Also check your credit reports to make sure that no one is using your information to open credit lines. The Federal Trade Commission website has tons of information in the event that your identity gets stolen (
    This other site called Ask the advisor, offers information on what to do step by step (
    As far as harm comming to your family, I think that this scam is so spread out, that what they are targeting is people’s money. But if you are concerned about your family and need peace of mind you should contact the authorities, and they will be able to guide you further. Hope that helps.

  4. I got the same email, after much probing from me Mr Richard Lee insisted that this s not a scam, I was still not convinced and googled Mrs Elena Tan… the rest is history.
    I’m glad I didn’t give out too much info. these people are unscrupoulous and are willing to lie through their teeth to
    get what they want. Beware, it its too good to be true then it probably is!

  5. Yes, there are many variations of this one, some longer than others. You are right and said it well, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

  6. Unfortunately, these days, it is getting harder and harder to spot well made fake emails and scams. Some look very legit. A good tell-tell sign is the request of personal information in the body of the email. Most legitimate sites will tell you to log in the site and never log in via an email (for example your bank).

  7. I received this same email from elena tan,I replied to the scam and have had contact with the barrister richard lee.
    just waiting his reply, will keep you informed

  8. I hope you did not give any important sensitive personal information. Yes, please keep us posted.

  9. no the address we use is our workshop were all the crap is posted to it has a big bin shall keep you posted

  10. I got this email today. I knew it was a scam but I did not click the hyperlink, because I thought it was some body sending my computer a virus. I also tried calling the number that the email had listed, it was a non working number. I think these people are barking up the wrong tree messing with me…. I am broke…. hehe…. they just want to get some thing for free and in the long run they will pay more than the people they are scamming.

  11. I received a variant of the above today, with a sendor email address at the University of Florida. Instead of emailing the good barrister, I forwarded to original email to appropriate authorities at the U. Florida. Hope they have the interest and ability to do something.

  12. Wow, I just got an email that got me curious… this one claims to be from the United Nations, even has the email address ….seemed almost like the real deal…

    here it is:
    “FROM THE DESK OF UNITED NATIONS TRUST FUNDGovernment Accredited Licensed Promoters!United Nations Trust FundEngland Department of Humanitarian AffairsPalais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10England Congratulations Beneficiary, Your email has been selected by the United Nations(UN) for a cash grantaward of Six Hundred And Fifty Thousand Five hundred United StateDollar,($650,500.00usd)for this year 2010 award.Your email address wasselected during our random email balloting for the cash grant and if youreceive this notification,it means that you are a lucky beneficiary of ourcash grant award.The united nations authorities has decided to give thisaward to 15 beneficiaries from all over the world to help facilitate andimprove the standard of living to the Commission on the Limits of theContinental Shelf for developing States, in particular the least developedcountries and small island developing States,and compliance with article76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.This grant isbeen aided by the United Nations development programme and the unitednations trust funds for human security.Your cash grant pin number is(UNO-154/4456/011) Our corresponding office (United Nations Trust Funds ) in CAMBODIA,ASIANConutry and they will give details on how your funds would be remitted toyou.Docontact our payment office immediately with the informations below.Yourgrant numbers fall within your Location file, you are requested to contactthe event manager/Claims Department, send your winning identificationnumbers and fill the verification form below,to enable him verify yourclaims.
    Do contact our payment office immediately with the informations below. ******************************************************************************Payment Officer : Dr. Morris McdonaldPhone Number :+855976826769Email: ****************************************************************************** Regards,Mr Ban Ki-moon.(UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL)”

    I googled the phone number once out of curiosity, and all sorts of sites came back with email scams associated with that number… are they really that good? I dont think so, if they were, I think they would have more than one number to give out with the assortment of scams they offer 😉

  13. I was bewildered when I received the email of Mrs Elena Tan wanting to give way $10,500,000 dollars just to have me give it to the poor. I couldn’t beleive that she would pick a perfect stranger to carry out her wishes. How tempting all that money would be. Now we know why.

  14. Hi Joe,

    Yes, that one is very elaborated, except that one of the signs that gives it away is the gramatical errors all over it. At this point I think the old adage “too good to be true” apply to these scams when nothing else gives it away. Thank you for sharing that one with us.

  15. That one has been around for a while, with many variations on the lenght of it. Elena Tan sounds like a good name for a character in a spy novel. Thank you for sharing with us.

  16. I can’t believe it. And they used God and all.
    I guess I’ll just have to spend that $500, I was going to send them on, Beer and Cigaretts or Sumpin’.
    I’m So Crushed.

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