#42 - The Now Charming Nature of Email Scams

Ever since I started this site--and included an email address for subscribers--I've been receiving at least four or five email scam offers per day. A lot of these are from the Scottish or English lottery informing me I've won a huge sum of money, and others are from Nigerians or other Africans soliciting my help to get funds out of their countries. At this point, these scams are so well known I can't imagine they remain profitable, and I look upon the messages almost fondly--the way I might regard a charming, if hopelessly senile, uncle who was a grifter in his salad days and still tries to sell me monogrammed bibles out of habit, even though he can't remember what his name's supposed to be.

I figure a lot of these scammers just have nothing better to do. There's no work where they live, and very few diversions, so they buy one cup of tea from the Internet Cafe and spent seven hours a day running their email scam. A least it keeps them off the streets, right?

The harmlessness of these scammers is underlined by the number of people who've hit upon the idea of engaging them in a running and increasingly ridiculous string of correspondence just to see what kind of preposterous claims they can force the scammer to pretend to take seriously before he or she cuts them off. This "scamming the scammer" game has become so popular I like to think the Nigerian and American sides have now started to mirror one another, with correspondents in both countires nodding sagely as each communication pings into their inbox--recognizing the scam, but playing out the string anyway just to pass the time.

My own brother, Andrew, media darling and dragon boat racing standout, recently started up a communication with Mrs. Nancy Macharia, a terminally ill, and very rich widow from the Ivory Coast. I find his work refreshing and will post updates on how his relationship with Mrs. Macharia matures.

Here's her original message:

My Dear,

My aim of contacting you is to know if you have the capability to assist me achieves my heart desire of helping less privileged.

If you think you can spare a little of your time on this project. Get back to me for more information of what is expected from you, what you stand to benefit as compensation for your assistance and why I choose to do it with non relative.

Mrs. Nancy

And his reply:

Dearest Nancy,
Thanks be on to you for your email. Let me say that our planets must be in line because I was just yesterday speaking with my best friend Peter "Big Knuckles" at the sausage factory that I run and said to him: "Knuckles, (that is what I call him) I have lived a good life and done well with my fortunes (I now own 3 sausage factories), but what do I really have to show for it?"

The truth is I have made a very good living converting unwanted animal parts into food for the poor, but since I devoted most of my time to my career, I lost out and only had 2 daughters, zero sons. Maybe I should have listened to the midwife and made my wife face the moon while we made love, but I was too busy thinking of new flavors for my sausages and how to make the FDA believe that raccoon meat is both a cheap and healthy pig alternative.

Anyway I digress, the end result is that I have no one to leave my money to (except daughters, which I will not do) and I am looking instead to do some charity with my funds. Knuckles agreed with me and I showed him your kind email. I would love to hear back from you and perhaps you could explain how I might help you to assist those in need.

Thank you again for your email, I look forward to your reply-


P.S. Peter "Big Knuckles" says hello too!!!

To which she responded:

My Dear,
My proposal is to authorize you as a trustee to help me accomplish my hearth desire of helping the less privilege ones. Which I could not accomplish my self due to my present health condition. That is if you are willing to accept my condition and do as I wish.

I am presently in Cote d’ Ivoire seriously sick in hospital battling with diabetes, stroke and chronic renal insufficiency case, a kidney disease. I do not have access to telephone due to doctor’s advice. I can only write once in a while through my laptop in the hospital.

From what I saw in my doctor’s report that was forgotten by my bed side, it states that my kidney has been affected badly by infection at its worse stage combine with diabetes and stroke that I may give up to ghost at any moment and doubt my chances of survival.

My husband is late and his people never liked or showed me love. All my late husband relatives where against his marriage to me and never supported it because I was not from their tribe. Still he insists and went ahead with the marriage. That’s why I did not remarry when he died as an honour to him because of his kindness and love to me when he was alive. The latest is that they accuse me of being a witch because I have no child for my late husband.

After death of my husband my health condition was getting so bad. So, I decided to sold off my inheritance package the fund from it in a consignment and deposit it with a firm until when I will be ready to move the fund to use it assist the less privilege than let my ingrate husband relatives know about it and inherit the money if I die.

My wish is for major percentage of the money to be shared among charity organizations and motherless baby’s home then the remaining percentage for the person that will receive the consignment on my behalf for the project.

My reason of writing now that I can is because I don’t know when I will give up and I wouldn’t want the firm to take over the deposit as unclaimed consignment. So, I want to know if you can stand in for me, receive the consignment from the firm and use major part of the money for charity.

If you are sincere and will use the balance as I wish after taking your percentage for your effort, get back to me for letter of introduction and authority to the firm that will empower you as new beneficiary and act on my behalf. Because I know I don’t have much time left for me to live, although the doctor’s are hiding it from me not knowing that I have seen my report file.

If you are matured, sincere and will do accordingly, while replying this mail send your full name, address, age, telephone number and occupation for introduction to the firm, if not do not bother your self to reply.

When I receive your reply with your particulars, I will let you know the amount involve and what comes to you for your assistance.

Mrs. Nancy Macharia

I, for one, can't wait to see what John-Jon the daughter-plagued sausage king has to say to that! Check in for updates on this percolating international finance story.


JCW said...

Brilliant way to whittle away the time, hassling the spammers.

rachaelworks said...

I read this to Al over breakfast, and he almost cut off his finger chopping potatos he was laughing so hard. More! More!!!

ps~ tell 'Big Knuckles" we say "Hi".