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Protect yourself online! Scammers are everywhere. Use COMMON SENSE and be SAFE when online.. NEVER disclose private information to strangers. Sounds too good to be true? it probably is.

by Robert Gillis

True story: I received this email today; I have not edited it; this is what I got, errors and all:

Sent: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 8:56 am
Subject: Validation Of Your winning Funds

ATTN: Winner,

I am Mr. Richard Smith your claims officer, I wish to Congratulate you, you are a lucky person to have won this lottery. This is a promotional draw which officially launches the new system. With funds accrued exclusively from previous draws,payouts to all winners are guaranteed and will be transferred in record time.

This correspondence officially confirms that we are in receipt of instructions relating to the payment of your lottery winnings. Please comple te the form below with correct information and email back to us with a return email . Looking forward to your swift response.

Please, you are advised to send along the filled form, a copy of your personal Identification preferably the photo page of your international passport or license for proper identification and it will also be included in our next winners album.

Yours Faithfully,
Richard Smith
[alleged contact info, as well as request for tons of personal information, deleted]

Grammatical and punctuation errors (and grievous abuse of the English language) aside, this email mangles reality to such a twisted state that’s it’s difficult to know where to start. So I decided a simple response would be best:

Dear Richard,

This is probably one of the worst scam letters I have ever seen. I mean, are you trying to win an award for bad SCAM letters? My God man, at least TRY to make your scam look real! This is just terrible! If you want to bilk innocent people out of their money at least try to make your fraud readable, OK? And, please, learn the correct, use, or commas and ? other! Punctuation;!

For your convenience, I have forwarded your email, header information and computer’s IP address to the FBI and US Treasury, who can assist with your education on this topic.

Good luck in prison.

Hello There!

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