The reason e-mail scams are so unconvincing | Daniel Finkelstein
Have you ever wondered why such a large proportion of scam e-mails are really bad?
So much of the time they are poorly written, with spelling errors and terrible English. And they ask the recipient to believe they are genuine, even though the structure and content of the request (“my dad was the head of the Nigerian secret service and I want to deposit his bequest in your bank account”) is both unbelievable and familiar.
Surely with a tiny bit of effort the scams could be improved and get a better response?
This link provides a plausible explanation for why this doesn’t happen.
The senders want to be sure those who respond are genuinely good targets. A really bad scam e-mail ensures a low level of false positives.