Am I Dead? Wants to Know

imageI woke up this morning to find that I wasn’t dead. That’s kind of a bonus, since there have been mornings when I wasn’t entirely convinced –  if you know what I mean. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Assuming, one is still alive – I suspect that there might be a certain sense of urgency in refuting a rumor that one has passed on to bigger and better things (hopefully, bigger and better things, but……).

In the latest craziness on the spamming scene – (now there’s a catchy name), has crafted a phishing email – loaded with power words – in an effort to provoke the need to act.

First, to prove you’re not DEAD – and subconsciously, who doesn’t have a need to do that? Second, in the happy event you’re not DEAD – the good news is – you’re in line to “receive and confirm your funds without any more stress”. Good news – no?

In an attempt to show the proper degree of sincerity (just in case you’re DEAD, as you read the email), goes that extra mile – “MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE – YOUR JOY AND SUCCESS REMAINS OUR GOAL.”

Text of this unintentionally hilarious email –


Investigation Bureau

8:48 AM (5 hours ago)

Attn: Sir/Madame (don’t know if I’m a man or a woman – what gives?)

We are writhing to know if it’s true that you are DEAD? Because we received a notification from one MR. GERSHON SHAPIRO of USA stating that you are DEAD and that you have giving him the right to claim your funds.

He stated you died in a CAR accident. He has been calling us regarding this issue, but we cannot proceed with him until we confirm this within after 7 days of no respond.

Be advised that we have made all arrangements for you to receive and confirm your funds without any more stress, and without any further delay.

All we need to confirm now is you been DEAD Or still Alive. Because this MAN’S message brought shock to our minds. And we just can’t proceed with him until we confirm if this is a reality OR not.

But if it happened we did not hear from you after 7 days, then we say: “MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE” YOUR JOY AND SUCCESS REMAINS OUR GOAL. May the peace of the Lord be with you wherever you may be now.

Your Faithfully,
Mrs. Vivian Martins
Tel: +123-806-731-6969


OK, I will admit, that to be taken in by a scam email like this, or any scam email for that matter, one would have to be the type of person whose antenna doesn’t pick up all the channels.

Still, when you consider that 90% of all emails are spam – and scams are a big part of that percentage – it’s fair to say – more than a few unlucky souls who’ve lost contact with the mother ship, will fall for this type of scam email.

What a sad reflection on the state of the Internet.


Filed under Cyber Crime, Don't Get Scammed, email scams

24 responses to “Am I Dead? Wants to Know

  1. Another excellent post, Bill. Keep ’em coming!

    • Hey Steve,

      Though a little humor mixed in with a shake or two of seriousness, might help get the message across.

      Always good to hear from you.



  2. Michael Fisher

    I particularly enjoyed the “We are writhing to know…” part. This evil philosophical scammer has the heart of a poet & essayist.

    I should add that some of my favourite writers were/are thoroughly unpleasant people

  3. Michael Fisher

    Kind of related, but really just for fun quotes [handbags at dawn bitchy writers]:

    Kingsley Amis on Dylan Thomas, 1947: “I have got to the stage now with mr toss that I have only reached with Chaucer and Dryden, not even with Milton, that of VIOLENTLY WISHING that the man WERE IN FRONT OF ME, so that I could be DEMONIACALLY RUDE to him about his GONORRHEIC RUBBISH, and end up by WALKING ON HIS FACE and PUNCHING HIS PRIVY PARTS”

    Mark Twain on Jane Austen, 1898: “Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

    Byron on Keats, 1820: “No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don’t I must skin him myself: there is no bearing the driveling idiotism of the Mankin”

    Cyril Connolly on George Orwell, 1973: “He would not blow his nose without moralising on conditions in the handkerchief industry”

    • Hi Michael,

      Hilarious!! You know it’s good when you laugh out loud. 🙂

      I thought Winnie was always in fine form when describing the opposition, but this! There are some lessons to be learned here. “Cutting” edge stuff.



  4. Michael Fisher

    Dear old hard nut Winnie ~ his savage wit (& alcohol) kept him sane. The saying “If one has nothing nice to say one should say nothing” was concocted by a committee of maiden aunts ~ the world would be a poor place if we all kept to that dictum. Unleashing an occasional well aimed salvo of unadulterated bile is so invigorating & relieves the need to commit murder. Holier-than-thou religionists & moralists please note!

  5. Munch

    We hardly knew ye.

  6. Mal

    Nice one Bill, I laughed at that tombstone pic.
    Maybe they should have also sent a copy of the email to (or maybe just in case you really were dead. That way, the have covered all their bases and they can start “writhing” in happiness, knowing they did all they could.

    • Hey Mal,

      I had 2 comments to choose from – so, I’ll go with this one (which ended up in Spam because of the links). Weird, since the links aren’t even real (funny as hell though 🙂 )

      Took me a while to find Tombstone Generator ( which I remembered from back in the day.

      This is definitely one of the nuttiest spam emails I’ve gotten in a long time. Still, it helped start the day with a good laugh.



  7. Mal

    Yeah, sorry about doubling up, I thought one had not posted.
    It really is a funny email, I mean, if someone is gonna be a crook, learn to spell, and maybe also think up something that doesn’t look so ridiculous we all end up on the floor laughing lol.

    • Hey Mal,

      No problemo – this past few weeks WordPress has been doubling up on virtually all comments.

      I hear ya – sort of spoils the effect when “we all end up on the floor laughing”. Almost makes you want to set up a school for the spam gang, so that they can get it right. 🙂



  8. Bill,
    Great article! Aren’t you glad the authors of spam messages aren’t any brighter than they are? If they were…brighter, the messages wouldn’t be so hokie and we’d click into trouble more often. I too loved the tombstone…but don’t leave us for a long, long time.

    • Hi Paul,

      Oh yeah – I do wonder, if even I might not fall for one of these if it was crafted properly. It’d rather not make the assumption that somehow, I’m infallible.

      That tombstone thingy is pretty neat. A solid reminder of things to come – maybe. 🙂

      I trust all is well down Virginia way.



  9. Pradip Shah

    I have eceived some of these Nigerian scam letters – before the advent of Internet – some 20 years ago, written on London solicitor’s letterhead, yes hard copy on paper, BUT mailed from Nigeria !.

    Surprisingly very high ranking government officials and elected members of legislature have fallen victim to these. We have a saying which goes something like – In town full of avaricious men, crooks never starve.

    • Hi Pmshah,

      I wasn’t aware of this but, it’s not surprising. As you say – “In a town full of avaricious men, crooks never starve.”

      Greed, from both ends of the spectrum, seems to be a human condition.



  10. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    So glad to learn that reports of your death are exaggerated. Were you tempted to reply and say yes, you are actually dead? Bet that would have had them writhing 🙂

    Kind regards

    • Hi John,

      I though about that – maybe pull a Mark Twain – “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” – after hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal. 🙂



  11. delenn13

    He’s Dead, Jim ! All I got to say. 🙂