With everything happening in the world today I had no idea what I was going to discuss this week. Maybe the election? Government corruption? The Joy of Painting on Netflix? But then, oh dear readers, I received a very special email in the official Heck Media Gmail account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Not just any kind of e-mail; a scam e-mail. Do they want me to grow my willy? Are there hot Russian teens in my area? Is there a revolutionary new medicine that weight loss specialists don’t want me to know about?! I had to see, and it was more than I could ever imagine. Here it is in all of its holy glory.
Simply put, this is astounding- a work to rival Joyce, Nabakov, and even Twain himself. Escher, Barry, and DaVinci are nothing compared to this. I’ve been active on the internet since the internet really began to hit its stride in the 56k era when I was but a wee lad and never have I seen anything quite like this. I would like to go through every facet of this piece of modern art and discuss it in length. Let’s break this down, once piece at a time and figure out the quality of the overall piece out of ten- ten being a piece that will change the face of humanity forever and zero being someone’s vomit behind a toilet at a crack-house.
But before we begin, maybe I should explain the nature of this type of scam. The way these scams typically work is that the scammer contacts the unsuspecting victim with the intent to extort them for monetary gain. The scammer will work an angle, usually including a windfall of money and/or some kind of human interest type story in order to hook the victim. Then a long e-mail correspondence will occur in order to gain the trust of the victim. What will then happen is that the scammer will require the victim to wire a varying amount of money via Western Union or some similar service in order to solve a fake problem that is directly connected with the large amount of money promised to the victim. The scammer may do this multiple times, depending on the gullibility of the victim. And, of course, there is no large sum of money. The scammer will cease all communications with the victim and disappear into the internet aether, never to be seen again.
I believe this piece should be split into three categories- “Visual”, “Content”, and “Overall Effectiveness”. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get to dissecting.
Nothing about this e-mail is appealing to look at. The dark, larger-than-usual font splashed against the stark white background is jarring, to say the least. The beginning of this e-mail is seeming SCREAMING at me, usually not good for an introduction. Imagine if a stranger approached you and bellowed their name without any kind of formal greeting. You’d be reeling, shocked, flabbergasted, and quite frankly annoyed. So maybe, if you’re trying to scam someone, this is not the way to go about it.
But hey, let’s not judge this book exclusively by its cover. Maybe the writer is desperate, distressed, strung out on crystal meth, or some similar kind of stressor brought on by the horrible happening of the death of “Mr.Edward”. Maybe if we crack this book open we’ll find a wonderful story unfolding in front of our eyes.
Oh, wait, no. Nope. Not at all. Holy smokes.
I guess we’ll start with the e-mail account this is being sent from; email@example.com. What in the living hell is a “barrster”? I know what a “barrister” is, but that is not what it says. A barrister is a type of lawyer that deals in advocacy and litigation type work. I’m going to assume that this is a typo, which does not bode well for the rest of this e-mail if the sender cannot even spell their fake occupation.
The title of the email does it no favors either- “back”. “back”? Did the scammer put part of the body paragraph content into the e-mail title? But where would it fit in the body? I suppose you could cram it in somewhere. Shouldn’t the title be captivating? Shouldn’t it yell and say “HEY, OVER HERE, THIS IS INTERESTING”. It fails horribly, unless the title is just deeply loaded with irony, in which case it is nothing short of brilliant, IF this was a creative writing exercise (which it is not).
Moving onto the real meat of the e-mail we can see where this piece shines. I would like to begin with reminding you that “IAM JUDE ANTHONY” is horrendous. If “Jude Anthony” truly was a Barr(i)ster I would assume a more professional format or style would be used.
-“…Please kindly contact me, …” –
Poorly conceived and, frankly, overloaded “””sentence”””. “Please contact me” is more than enough- you don’t have to pretend to be F. Scott Fitzgerald. Coming hot off of the wonderful introduction into this is jarring.
-“…there is an important issue I need to discuss with you concerning my deceased client late Mr.Edward…”–
Jude, you were so close. So so close. This part is almost competently put together, right up until “…deceased client late…”. If you simply add a “the” in between “client” and “late” you would have made it. “…deceased client the late Mr.Edward…” makes significantly more sense.
“… a nationality of your country…”
It’s like Jude isn’t even trying anymore, and after being so close with the last part! For shame, Jude- I expected better from you. This statement is bizarre, as using “nationality” in this context is bafflingly wrong. Jude could have said “A national” or “The same nationality” instead and it would have flowed much, much more, logically speaking. Instead we’re stuck with what sounds like a quote from the “That 70’s Show”’s foreign exchange student character, Fez. And just saying “of your country” makes it seem as if there was little to no research done on me beforehand. I’m sure that the e-mail was just sent out en-masse, but I feel personally offended that Jude doesn’t actually care about me.
“…unclaimed estate fund valued usd $8.5 million dollar before his death.”
Again, this one almost hits the mark but fails in one major place- the order in which the words are arranged. The better way to order it is “unclaimed estate fund valued [at] $8.5 million dollar[s] USD before his death”.
… Why is this here? Did Jude forget to end the email? A simple period after the “Please” would have sufficed. Sure, it would have been abrupt but at least it would be complete.
Overall Effectiveness- Well…
The unfortunate part of this kind of e-mail is that they do have the potential of seriously scamming an unsuspecting and kindhearted person. So I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of other heroes and I’m going to try my best to waste as much of the scammer’s time as possible so I maybe save one other person who might not be as clever as me. So what I’m going to do is e-mail Jude back and, hopefully, be able to relay the information to you guys. We’ll have some laughs along the way and hopefully we’ll do something for the greater good. Also fuck these people.
Here is my e-mail response, using all of their tricks way better than they ever could.
Barrister Jude Anthony,
I am so sorry for your loss! Mr.Edward must have been a very good man, especially with such a large estate! 8.5 million dollars sure is a lot of money! What did you need to discuss with me?
Thank you Jude.
-Michael T. Hunt, esq.
-Brendan C. Bush, contributor and Co-Creator of Heck Media