Every so often, these scammers will do something new that amazes even me. Just when I think they hit an all-time, never-ever-going-to-be-broken low, they step up their game.

Case in point, this lovely email…

Dear Beloved in Christ,

It is by the grace of God that I received Christ,having known the truth,I had no choice
than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the
sight of man for
witness of God & his mercies and glory upon my life.

I am Mrs.Anna van Gogh the wife of Mr Harold van Gogh,my husband worked with the shell
in Netherlands for twenty years before he died in the year 2001.We were married for ten
years without a child. My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four
days.Before his death we were both born again Christians.

Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home
which the Bible is against.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of
US$3.5M.(Three Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with a Bank in
Asia.Presently,this money is still with the Bank and the management just wrote me as
the beneficiary to come forward to sign for the release of this money or rather issue a
letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come
over.Presently,I’m in a hospital in Netherlands where I have been undergoing treatment
for esophageal cancer.I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me
that I have only a few weeks to live.It is my last wish to see this money distributed
to charity organizations anywhere in the World.Because relatives and friends have
plundered so much of my wealth since my illness,I cannot live with the agony of
entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.

Please,I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand and collect the Funds from the
Bank.I want a person that is God fearing that will use this money to fund
churches,orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house
of God is maintained.The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that
giveth.I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money
and my husband’s relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s hard earned
money to be misused by unbelievers.I don’t want a situation where this money will be
used in an ungodly manner.Hence the reason for taking this bold decision.I am not
afraid of death hence I know where I am going.I know that I am going to be in the bosom
of the Lord.Exodus{14 VS 14}says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my
peace.I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my soundless
voice and presence of my husband’s relatives around me always.

I don’t want them to know about claims for this funds.Kindly send your reply to my
private email address which is as follows: annaloveworld01@aim.com
Your Sister in Christ,

Mrs.Anna van Gogh.

So this one is a dying of cancer, recently lost her husband, and now wants to spread their millions of dollars around the world to various charities in the name of God and needs your help. That’s pretty bad.

Given that it’s a Friday, let’s have a little fun.

Leave a comment below with a ridiculous scenario that a scammer could use to try and trick someone out of money. The most creative scenario wins a prize! I haven’t decided on what the prize is yet though. So, suggestions are welcome on that too!

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Join the Discussion

  • Kathi Harris
    Kathi Harris

    Hi Lydia….the scam email from a friend probably originated by someone hacking into their facebook account, then into their email from there.

    It’ happened to one of my friends on facebook….I got the email (coming from his personal email address) about being stranded in London….But I knew what had happened.

    Just a few days before, there had been a news story about a lady here locally, in our small town….that had that exact thing happen to her. After a couple friends, who knew she wasn’t out of town, called, they figured out what happened. She made a police report. They went to every Western Union office in the county….Told them to be on the lookout for anybody trying to wire money to this lady. Somebody actually showed up at a WU office, wanting to send money to help his friend out. Fortunately, he was stopped from doing so!

    From what I understand, this has been happening with alarming frequency at facebook.

  • Lydia

    I used to get the one about either a European Lottery I had won, or a European who had won the (US) lottery and needed a US resident to collect – and all I had to do to collect a portion/all of the funds was to e-mail the person in charge of distributing funds with a certain account reference and password. (For some reason, those all hit the T-file without more than the cursory scan… so I don’t remember the whole story.)

    My boss actually had gotten an interesting one a few weeks ago –

    An old business associate (who wouldn’t be caught dead outside the State much less the country) was “vacationing” on a European tour when they were mugged. They needed traveller’s cheques sent to a certain P.O. Box so that they could get a new passport and enough money to get airfare home. Later it was discovered that the associate had gotten her E-mail hacked and the hacker had E-mailed all of the people on this business-person’s E-mail database. Fortunately, it was so out of context for the individual that she had 15 people call her to tell her she’d been hacked – no one was “fleeced” that time.

  • Deborah

    I am tired today but could not resist the temptation to come up with a scenario.

    RE: We have a mutual friend

    Please excuse my vagueness however I do not want to mention specific names in this email for reasons you will soon understand. To say I have a problem is a major understatement. For the past two weeks I have not been able to sleep or eat and have considered suicide. Fortunately I finally called a close friend and told her about my scenario which will certainly end with me going to jail for a considerable length of time. Our friend has assured me you would be a knowledgeable person to assist me with this problem and I am willing to pay you a large commission at this point to help me transfer funds out of my name immediately.

    If you been following the news and I know you have as our friend assures me you are financially astute then you may have seen me testifying before Congress regarding the Goldman Sax allegations of fraud of which I am involved.

    While these crooks. my bosses, continue to deny any fraud on their part it is not true and I have perjured myself before the congressional hearing to provide me time to take measures to protect my family. I saw what was happening several years ago and sad to say I let my greed take over. It is only a matter of time before they put the pieces together and I will end up in jail where I belong.

    I have skimmed close to 20 million dollars from Goldman Sax and I have to transfer these funds immediately. You see I have a wife and family who I adore and love above all else. My wife has no idea how we have been able to live our lifestyle and I also support her mother who has Alzheimers and is in a very exclusive nursing home. My parents were close to having their own home foreclosed and I purchased a new home for them with these illicit funds. I support so many people and they all depend on me. It is in their name that I beg for your help.

    I would be eternally in your debt if you could email as soon as possible at GreedyMarco@GS.com with a safe email address and details…….

    Ok now this is where I get lost as I just do not know how to complete this scam if in fact it could be made into a scam–please feel free anyone if you want to edit, change or finish it up for me and then I will know how to pull it off myself! Only kidding

  • Kathi Harris
    Kathi Harris

    Hello Brian, and everybody else…
    Yeah, I have noticed their spelling and grammar has improved over the past couple of years…but for the most part it’s still pretty bad.

    Sometimes I get ‘job offers’ from well-known companies…and if I didn’t know better, I would think they’re legitimate, if it weren’t for the misspellings and poor usage. I catch those almost every time!

    And don’t forget..the textile company, art dealership in London, and many other strange companies. What? They don’t accept US$’s in the UK anymore???
    Another clue to look for: Who is it addressed to? If it says ‘undisclosed recipient’….you can guarantee it’s bull….oney!

  • Damie

    I suppose I’m also not as criminally creative to up with one better than what I’ve seen out there, but Kathy, yours is great! I laughed when I got to the part about the heavily-drinking grandson!

  • Brian Sklar
    Brian Sklar

    I like Kathi Harris have received numerous emails from a wide assortment of individuals claiming to be upper bank management people trying to find someone to pose as the only relative of a customer who passsed away, lawyers/ accountants for a recently deceased client, a dying widow, etc. etc. To give them credit their spelling and grammar is getting better. Because I sell products internationally, I have also had individuals try to scam me using someone else’s credit card number they have some how obtained. There are also the scams where they try and convince you that they are a electronics/steel/oil/etc. etc. company that sells their products internationally and are looking for “representatives” (read that suckers) in your area that are willing to take on the task of having the cheques sent to them by the companies “clients” in your name and then you get to keep 10% of the monies (usually) for your payment and taxes and then you wire transfer the rest of the money to them. They quickly pull the money out of your account and when their rubber cheques get to the banks that they were supposedly written from and bounce, guess who is left owing the banks 10 of thousands of dollars. So here would be a typical ad,
    “We are an electronics company that sells our products internationally. We are expanding into your area and are looking for a trustworthy individual to act as our representative. The person that qualifies will be responsible to receive all the cheques from our customers, deposit them in their account, keep 10% of each cheque as their commission, 7% to cover transfer fees and taxes and remit the rest to us. If this position is of interest to you, please reply to, nogood@youllbesorry.com, with your name, address, telephone number, educational background and at least 3 character references. We will contact you if you are choosen to be our representative.” Of course everyone is accepted that applies, that way they multiply their sources of income. Because they are based abroad our police forces here can’t touch them. Hopefully this will prevent someone from making a serious error and signing on as a presentative for one of these bogus companies.

  • Murray V Heminger, Jr.
    Murray V Heminger, Jr.

    If all the Emails that I have gotten in the last three years were truly true, I would have close to a Billion dollars by now–all are rubish.

  • David Huttenmaier
    David Huttenmaier

    I am waiting for a scam that is tied to the earthquake that hit Haiti. I can imagine a plea to help someone who had all their documents destroyed in the earthquake so they can’t claim money that is theirs.

  • Kathy Cunningham
    Kathy Cunningham

    The most effective scam to get my attention would involve helpless children. Imagine this:

    Dear friend,

    I’m writing this letter to beg for your help for my five great-grandchildren. A long time ago, my husband and I created trusts to ensure their education and future comfort. Each child was given a $1,000,000. to grow overtime. Our daughter developed the funds until she died suddenly in a car accident. Our son-in-law was so grief-stricken that he began drinking heavily. We watched as our grandson began misusing his money and tried to get the trust funds put into his hands. So far we have had many court cases that have protected that money. But we have come to the end of our endurance. My husband has cardiomyopathy and cannot receive a new heart because of his health status and age. I have recently been diagnosed with respiratory failure. We need someone to help protect our great-grandchildren.
    If you would be so gracious to accept this challange, we would be gland to put their care in your hands.

    I need to keep this information quiet so that my grandson does not try to stop the exchange of monies, so please contact me at my address and I will transfer funds to you.

    Thank-you for your help, you will be given an expense account and all control of the monies I have when I pass on. (right now the estimate is a few months).

    I await your answer.

  • Kathi Harris
    Kathi Harris

    I’ve sure seen a lot of them! My favorites are from the “FBI Field Office” and signed by Robert Mueller III personally. They generally say that they are going to help me complete the transaction with the Nigerians, that got stalled. One of them I got even stated that this had been approved by Sec. of State, Hilary Clinton, and several other top federal officials!
    I also enjoy the ones from “a US Soldier” stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, claiming he ‘found’ a huge cache of money and needs help smuggling it out of the country.

    Let’s see…something more ridiculous than that? I guess I’m not creatively criminal enough to dream up a scenario worse than the ones I already get all the time.

    A favorite catch-phrase around my house, “Well our money troubles will be over, as soon as those nice Nigerians send me my millions of dollars.”

  • Marc

    Hi Steve!

    I received the same email from Mrs Van Gogh a couple of weeks back!

    In regards to the scammer scenario:

    In view of the fact that the world is facing its most “troubling times”, a would see a world organization – preferably religious – that has set up a trust fund who is now distributing the funds to God fearing but worthy practitioners who will help expand the values, faith and of course, money in their local areas.
    The grab of this one is that you are issued only 100-200k but for every other person you “save”, you double the amount that is given to you as a purvayor of Gods will!!

    Have a great week-end!


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