How to Pull Off an Email Scam, by “Drew Faust”

Robinson Crusoe wants your money and he wants it now.
Robinson Crusoe wants your money and he wants it now. By Courtesy of Twitter

Earlier today, Zack Cooper, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and of Economics at Yale, tweeted a screenshot of this email asking him to apply to speak at Harvard’s Commencement (in exchange for the miniscule, totally-not-a-scam request of his credit card information). In this revealing email, totally written by Drew Faust (long live the Kween), we see evidence of the best communication etiquette. Here’s what you need to know to impersonate Faust and pull off the most credible email heist of all time.

The Proper Greeting

In order to successfully impersonate Harvard’s 28th president, start your scam email off with the same greeting you give the section guy you hooked up with last night. “Hi” works, but other acceptable greetings include “Yikes,” “Don’t tell anyone about this or I swear to God,” and “*averts eyes and cries on the inside because you know he also lives in your House.*”

The Praise

“Harvard University is a big Fan of your work” is something we know we’ll never hear, but it’s the kind of compliment that would get us to do anything. Prime your target by buttering them up with this sweet sweet praise of “that thing [they] do” and prepare to make your proposal.

The Incentive

There are a lot of great offers in this email, which is what makes it so successful. Getting Drew to help you with a speech and having it on “the Harvard University YouTube channel”? Plus, “Grants,” of $3 million?! And all of that for two low payments of $1500. Sounds like a great deal to us.

The Extortion

Sending money to castaway Robinson Crusoe, who apparently lives in Missouri, totally checks out. Missouri is basically the same as an unknown island in the middle of the ocean—it’s only home to people who didn’t end up there on purpose, it’s probably a tax haven for economists named Larry, and we really have no clue where it is.

Flyby BlogFlyby QuoteFlyby CampusFlyby CultureFlyby Front

Harvard Today

The latest in your inbox.

Sign Up

Follow Flyby online.