Do People Actually Fall For This Garbage?

I  checked my e-mail messages earlier today; and amongst them, I found this gem — with the title Letter From U.S Customs and Border Protection, Reply As Soon As Possible — awaiting my response:

Customs Department:John F.Kennedy International Airport
JFK Airport’s Terminal Nine (American AirlinesTerminal)
JFK Airport New York NY, US 11430
United States of America

Attn: Beneficiary

Dear sir/madam,


Why do you keep silent? Are you alive or dead? Please,reply
urgently if you are alive and healthy.

Be informed, we received letter of “Power of Attorney” from one
Ms.Mary V.Miller Turner of Philadelphia, PA USA that claim to be your
representative and she is ready to pay the required  fee/Charges to obtain
necessary U.S Customs and Border Protection clearance documents and have the
consignment deliver at her address in Philadelphia. Please, let me know
urgently if you are aware of this development.

Please, help us to serve you better.

I wish you all the best and Remain blessed in the light of GOD never

Yours in service,

Jeffery Adams
Office of Inspection(U.S CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT) John F. Kennedy International
Airport, New York, USA.
Direct Telephone: 650 288 6056

My Response

Rather than respond privately to this e-mail message, I thought I would respond with this article instead.

Why do I keep silent? Well, gee — just because several hours have elapsed since I posted the most recent article I have written, I am keeping silent?!?

I might have found the number one fan of The Gate. I will try to post articles more often just for you.

Am I alive or dead? Hmm…that is a tough one — a question which cannot be answered without consulting a medical professional. Please let me check my e-mail messages to find someone impersonating a doctor so that I may be examined; and I will get back to you on that.

In fact, I probably should also have my gender checked, as you have no idea whether I am a “sir” or a “madam.”

Please, reply urgently if I am alive and healthy. So if I am not alive and healthy, should I reply in a relaxed fashion? I suppose it is difficult to be urgent about anything once I am already dead; so forgive me for not replying at all if the result of the aforementioned medical prognosis proclaims that I am officially dead.

“Power of Attorney” Well, at least you were “honest” about putting this one in “quotes,” which usually means that what is written is not actually what it is — pardon my “grammar,” as it is nowhere near as “excellent” as your “grammar.”

I am confused, though: does the quoted part mean that “Ms.Mary V.Miller Turner of Philadelphia, PA USA” is not really a power of attorney? Do that mean that she — or he — is not really my representative?

Please help me out here, “Jeffrey Adams.”

She is ready to pay. So “she is ready to pay the required fee/Charges to obtain necessary U.S Customs and Border Protection clearance documents and have the consignment deliver at her address in Philadelphia.” Great! Tell you what: I am willing to forego this delivered consignment. Have her send the funds to me instead. I will need them to book a flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia — plus lodging, ground transportation, meals and other incidental expenses.

Please, let me know urgently if you are aware of this development. Again with the “urgently”? Have we suddenly skipped the requirement as to whether I am alive or dead? I do not even know details pertaining to what is the consignment which is to be delivered. About which development are you referring?

Please, help us to serve you better. I must admit — with all of the times you write “please,” you are rather polite. For that reason, I am completely convinced that your communication to me referring to this “development” is not a scam.

I wish you all the best and Remain blessed in the light of GOD never fails!!! Ahh, the religious component, which must be added to verify that this is a real communication — especially from someone who really is officially employed by a department of the United States government — such as the “Office of Inspection(U.S CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT) John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, USA.”

I do feel blessed — as well as reassured that this communication is indeed valid, authentic and genuine.

Telephone number. Despite being born and raised in New York, I had no idea that John F. Kennedy International Airport was located somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, as indicated by the 650 area code — either that, “Jeffrey Adams,” or you have some commute to your job every day…

…or, of course, you originally lived in California but moved to New York and simply kept that telephone number on your mobile telephone. Yes — that must be it.

Just for fun, I called the “direct” telephone number. No one answered the telephone; and I let it ring for at least two minutes. I tried to contact you more than once. How am I supposed to be willingly scammed by you — er…I mean…how are you supposed to please urgently assist me in this urgent development when I urgently call you and no one please urgently answers the urgent telephone?!?

Perhaps I could reply to — which is the e-mail address from where the message to me came. After all, that is an official e-mail address of the United States Customs and Border Protection — right?!?

“Jeffrey Adams,” I am beginning to believe that you are not “mine in service.” I have just sank into an urgent deep depression — never mind the possibility that I might be dead.


It is annoying enough to receive “click bait” e-mail messages from reputable companies such as airlines — but do people actually fall for this garbage?

As one who travels globally, the title of the e-mail message did initially catch my attention — the U.S with either a missing period or with a superfluous period tipped me off where I instantly knew that this was a “spam scam” — but I was curious enough to want to look at the contents of the e-mail message, as I found it potentially humorous.

I know you would never fall for anything like this; so I hope that we had some fun at the expense of “Jeffrey Adams”; but some bogus e-mail messages can be more sophisticated — enough to have you wondering whether or not the communication is genuine. Please be sure to read this article written by me which gives you advice on how to tell if an e-mail message is “spam.”

In the meantime, I please wish you all the best and urgently remain blessed…

10 thoughts on “Do People Actually Fall For This Garbage?”

  1. Santastico says:

    Unfortunately there are people that fall for this garbage and will pay whatever they are asking or provide information they requested. If nobody felt for this they would not continue to waste their time sending it.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Also, I suppose that sending out one e-mail message to a massive quantity of recipients does not hurt either, Santastico.

      Send out 100,000 of them. One successful bite is probably all that is needed to make the process more than worthwhile…

  2. CambridgeTraveler says:

    It has been suggested that these scams are purposely poorly written so that only the most credulous will respond.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That makes sense, CambridgeTraveler.

  3. Captain Kirk says:

    Apparently some do, or you wouldn’t see these stupid emails. Straight to the trash bin you go!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Yes, Captain Kirk, the question I ask as the title of this article is more of a rhetorical one — but I still shake my head in disbelief that people actually do fall for this garbage…

  4. Vicente says:

    The 419 scams are deliberate about their misspellings, poor grammar, and somewhat implausible scenarios. The reason is simple, the next phase is people who RESPOND, and interact with a human. Those people, will soak up manhours of handlers of the con game. A con artist doesn’t want to waste time on skeptics and bored people playing “spin the plate”. It is a net that targets a particular fish, the most gullible people who have a good chance to cough up money.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You are correct, Vicente; but it still amazes me that people can be that gullible…

  5. Mollie says:

    That is very similar to an email I received from “US Customs” which said that a diplomatic package containing $2.5 million with my name and address had been intercepted at JFK airport and that I was to claim it within 14 days or I would face possible charges for tax evasion, money laundering and raising funds to aid international terrorism.
    I deleted the email and am now waiting for the FBI to come and kick in my door.

    P.S. If I leave my email address below you’re not going to spam me are you?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have no intention of sending you “spam”, Mollie.

      That these forms of communication continue suggests that people are falling for these scams.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

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