A Fortune Awaits
There’s nothing like a mammoth car repair bill to feel like you’ve been shanghai-ed, punched in the mouth, and told to dodge traffic in the middle of an interstate highway.
Which is why a slew of recent spam mail promising eight-figure fortunes in return for personal information and ATM fees brought me some much-needed comic relief.
Since my e-mail server has gotten better in recent times about filtering out spam, I had no reason to open the offending junk letters—they had been clearly flagged. Yet several times I did and wound up laughing loudly. I appreciated the combination of horrible English, outrageous lies and chutzpah displayed by the senders.
Millions are Yours!
First came the letter informing that $10.7 million was legally approved and deposited into Jp (sic) Morgan Chase Bank in New York in my name. To make sure I appreciated the significance, they spelled it out: Ten Million Seven Hundred Thousand United State (sic) Dollars.
Turns out there is a JP Morgan Chase bank at 214 Broadway—but that’s about the only resemblance to reality this email contained.
I particularly enjoyed the claim that for me (a complete stranger) the foreign debts settlement/compensation committee of the Executive Directors Of World Bank Group had instructed them to credit this fund to my private bank account “with immediate effect.” When I checked the next day, no such deposit had appeared.
Then there was the following paragraph that ran on for nearly 90 words, leaving my brain spinning as I tried to grasp—what exactly are you trying to say? My brother once told me spammers purposely use incorrect English so they don’t sound too flashy, but this one took bad grammar to a new level.
An ATM Rep?
The next day I received a letter from an FBI Assistant Director, informing me that after “proper investigation” (imagine what they might have found with improper investigation) that my impending payment had been withheld by imposters.
These nasty criminals had been caught and were in custody with the help of the Cyber Crimes Commission (who?) and the Local Police Force. This set me to wondering: where is Local? In what state?
After a Byzantine explanation of a series of meetings held to discuss my financial well-being came the payoff: they had approved issuing me an ATM card that had been credited with $4.800,000.00 (sic) USD. Although mere chicken feed compared to the first, they also spelled it out: four million, eight hundred thousand United States dollars.
All I had to do was forward my name, delivery address, cell phone number, occupation and a scanned copy of my passport—would I have to travel overseas to collect?—to said Assistant Director. He held the distinguished title of FBI ATM Rep. I didn’t even know the FBI had any ATM reps. Wonder if they come to the aid of damaged ATMs?
Just one small caveat: I would need to send $65 to cut down travel expenses for the Western Union payment. Instead, I decided to hang on to my 65 bucks.
A Call for Help
The same day I received a note from the manager of—I think—a bank in Burkina Faso, seeking my assistance in transferring $15 million into my bank account.
This alleged fund had lain dormant for 15 years since the owner’s family died in an air crash in July of 2000. He obviously needed my help. He didn’t want this fund to go into the Bank treasure (sic) as abandoned or unclaimed.
Wow! Someone has finally recognized my financial acumen, brilliant managerial expertise, and caring heart. Now if they could just help me pay for those car repairs.