22 Junk Mail Masterpieces That Will Make You Curious About What’s in Your Spam Folder

22 Junk Mail Masterpieces That Will Make You Curious About What’s in Your Spam Folder
05 May, 2023 • ... • 11381 views
Daria Zhuravleva
by Daria Zhuravleva

Spam and phishing emails are dangerous — you can lose money or become a victim of identity theft. Despite that, junk mail can also be creative and, although unintentionally, insanely funny. 

We dived into the depths of the internet and selected 22 ridiculous — but sometimes interesting! — spam masterpieces.

1. Putting “art” into “scam artist”🎨

Word salad in spam emails is not a new thing. It can be traced back to the 1990s and the internet’s oldest mystery — people are still making up conspiracy theories about Markovian Parallax Denigrate messages on Usenet. Now, spammers use gibberish to bypass filters. This trick is called Bayesian poisoning. It works like this. Bayesian spam filters are based on probability. For example, if an email contains a lot of words that were frequently found in spam emails, the filter will decide that this email is likely spam. By adding random words, spammers kill two birds with one stone:

  • Decrease the probability of their emails being marked as spam by an ESP
  • Confuse the filters by turning previously innocent words into spammy words

The trick is still popular — at the end of 2022, many of my friends and even I received emails that looked like this:

Spam email word salad
Source: Reddit

Spam or modern poetry? I guess, you’ll never know! But when they said “Donnes sticks me with came”, I felt feelings… Fun fact: this particular word salad is actually a butchered excerpt from Moonfleet, an adventure novel by J. Meade Falkner.

2. Harry Potter roleplay 🧙‍♂️

The Millennials’ weird obsession with Harry Potter has become the talk of the town. And, despite the controversy and polarized opinions on Hogwarts Legacy, the game has millions of active players so far. It feels like this scammer knows their target audience — where are Ravenclaw and Slytherin though?

Spam email Harry Potter
Source: Reddit

Also, using Harry Potter houses as codes for different answers to the email is a pretty creative tactic, we’re impressed!

3. Academic spam 👩‍🔬

If something is too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you receive an email that offers you to publish your academic work with 50% royalties, it’s most likely spam.

Spam email predatory publishing
Source: Twitter

A predatory journal offers to publish an article about predatory publishing, nothing sus about that.

4. No kink-shaming but… 🍌

Spam filters keep improving — so do spammers! They go out of their way to write the most ridiculous email copies possible both to avoid spam folders and attract readers’ attention. This email definitely does both.

Spam email adult content
Source: Reddit

First things first, what in the high school essay is this introduction? Secondly, this email is the definition of TMI — do people not have boundaries now?

5. Blackmail gone wrong 🤦‍♀️

Sextortion is one of the most popular email scamming tactics. It’s scary, it’s not hard to make it look plausible even for the least gullible users. This one though is not a good attempt.

Spam email adult blackmail sextortion
Source: Twitter

Not only does this scammer mention a video but attaches a .txt file to the email, but they also spread straight-up medical disinformation.

6. The fine art of preheaders 🎭

Preheaders are just as important as subject lines — they make or break the first impression and open rates. And, judging by this screenshot we found on Reddit, email marketers can learn a thing or two from email scammers.

Spam email university
Source: Reddit

Drexel University is a legit organization, by the way — and we’re pretty positive they don’t have anyone from the Targaryen family at their dean’s office. Good clickbait though!

7. A “hilarious” invoice 🙃

Scams mentioning Amazon are another popular email fraud scheme. These include fake gift cards claiming emails, fake delivery notifications — and, of course, invoices. This subject line is a dead giveaway.

Spam email amazon scam
Source: Reddit

Yeah, giving money to a scammer is to some extent hilarious — especially this one. A very legit Gmail address, how plausible. Do better next time!

8. I want to belief 🛸

If you get an email from a celebrity, it’s most likely a scam — especially if it looks like this:

Spam email celebrity
Source: Reddit

There’s a lot to unpack here. The Nigerian prince style “sir/ma” introduction, a weird reason for imprisonment, impressively bad spelling, and the hilarious sign-off as a cherry on top. I don’t know about you but I don’t “belief” a single word in this email.

9. What’s the opposite of trust issues? 😨

Money transfer scams are still popular. Such emails have different backstories — most of them are related to banking of some kind. This one is about an American soldier. It’s relatively well-written compared to many spam emails with garbled English — except for a few details.

Spam email military money transfer
Source: Reddit

There’s no way someone was searching for a random person to trust $17.8 million — if anything, we’re jealous of this character’s naivety.

10. Thanks but no 😷

This one is a basic fake survey spam email. It suggests completing an online survey for money — and something else.

Spam email fake survey
Source: Reddit

We have no idea what the process of accepting the local coronavirus would look like — and we don’t want to find out.

11. The accidentally leftist subject line 🚩

Norton subscription renewal scams emerged at the end of last year — this email is one of many. And, as happens with many fake no-reply emails from legitimate companies, the devil is in the details.

Spam email fake subscription
Source: Reddit

Technically, using someone’s labor for your own good is exploitation — is this scammer onto something?

12. When math is not mathing 🔢

This scam email that pretends to be an official message from The University of Texas at Arlington definitely was not proofread before sending.

Spam email storage limit
Source: Reddit

Are we at 90% or 98%? An enticing question, for sure!

13. I think; therefore, I spam 🤔

To sound more convincing and avoid spam filters, frauds keep improving their eloquence. Sometimes it takes a ridiculous and oddly philosophical turn — like here:

Spam email funny
Source: Twitter

You know, when someone tells you they’re not a scammer, they most likely are? We’d suggest this scammer take the Turing test.

14. Absolutely disgusted 🤢

It’s not the first and not the last time email scammers pretend to be celebrities or politicians. But this one is completely bonkers.

Why would Nancy Pelosi judge a random Gmail user? We’re not buying into it.

15. Email scams lowering their stakes 📉

The “You won a lottery” email fraud scheme has been around for a long time. But, we guess, tough times call for tough measures — that’s why the current version of this scam seems to look like this.

Spam email you won
Source: Twitter

Now, instead of “You won a million dollars” scammers want us to claim a drill. Is that the state of the economy or working on the niche market?

16. The art of introduction 🤝

Remember the Dear Sir/Madam thing from the Nigerian prince email scam? This spam email put a twist on it.

Spam email money transfer
Source: Twitter

Although “Dear Brother” is more exclusionary gender-wise, at least it sounds friendly — almost like we’re talking to a cult leader.

17. Attn pls ⚡

Email subject lines should be short and concise to display correctly on mobile devices. This email scammer, as you can see, took this advice literally.

Spam email funny subject line
Source: Twitter

Apparently, Warren gave away too much money so he can’t afford vowels.

18. Customer appreciation 😍

Thank you emails are important for building rapport with customers. This scammer knows it — and took it too far.

Spam email funny
Source: Twitter

Nothing is impossible — except for us not noticing that the order IDs in the subject and in the email body don’t match.

19. Spam or ARG? 🤯

This email might be the beginning of an alternate reality game or a trap spammers use to find out if your address is active. But, jokes and theories aside, it’s actually scary.

Spam email funny
Source: Reddit

Remember the Black Mirror episode called “Shut Up And Dance”? It started in a similar fashion.

20. The pick-me spam email 🙏

This spam email is a great example of how to not write clickbait subject lines.

Thanks but no — this one sounds pathetic. If you’re a scam artist, confidence is your weapon!

21. Let’s Eat Grandma 💀

Spam emails are infamous for their garbled English. Weird vocabulary choices, odd spelling and grammar help with bypassing spam filters and fish out the readers who are not gullible enough. But sometimes, this trick takes a funny turn. We found this one particularly hilarious.

Spam email funny money inheritance
Source: Twitter

Ok, I’m confused. If I’m dead, whose money I inherited and how can I email you back? If I get millions of dollars, how can I become a billionaire? And if my aunt is dying, why are you offering me the money that is technically still hers? Who’s dead anyway? 

Also, “monies” sounds like something Angelica from Rugrats would say, no offense.

22. Finally! 😌

Ladies and gentlemen, may we present to you, the spam email to end all spam emails!

Spam email funny
Source: Reddit

Whether you’re with “them” or not, we do not recommend clicking on any of these buttons. 

Wrapping up

Although spam emails can be hilarious, clicking the links, downloading attachments or replying to them may lead to financial losses, data breaches or catching a Trojan. Look but don’t touch! For example, you can safely look through our selection of funny spam emails — we hoped you enjoyed it ❤️

And, before we go, if you don’t want your marketing emails to end up in spam folders, Selzy got you covered. With personalized advice for less spammy copies and warm IPs for your good sender reputation, we make sure you land in inboxes, not spam. Don’t hesitate and start for free to try it out!

05 May, 2023
Article by
Daria Zhuravleva
I'm a writer with 3 years of experience, knowledge and interest in all things IT and marketing, and a passion for the English language. As a staff author at Selzy, I see my mission as an educator who makes your life easier by explaining complex topics in a digestible and somewhat entertaining way. Hobbies include birdwatching, all things music and art, writing freeform poetry, and hiding in the woods.
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