My needs have always been fairly simple. My desires on the other hand can be rather extravagant. I tell my family I never make a list of the things I want for Christmas because there would be nothing on it that anyone can afford to purchase for me.
Those things are more fantasy than reality, things I could never see spending money on even if I had it (have I mentioned that I am frugal?). And I really don’t want a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari – they wouldn’t be my style.
Therefore I am not tempted by the frequent notices I get by email that I have won a lottery, a court settlement or been named a beneficiary by a long-lost relative. I didn’t buy a ticket, haven’t been involved in litigation and don’t have any rich relatives, long-lost or otherwise. I can recognize a scam when I see one. Especially the ones that want me to circumvent banking or other laws in order to receive a large commission.
Apparently many people can’t make those distinctions, which is why the scams keep coming. The people behind them would stop if they weren’t making money – it is a big and organized business, as I discovered when I read Will Ferguson’s novel 419 (a good read by the way). I had always thought the misspellings and poor grammar in the scam emails were a sign that the scammers weren’t very smart. Turns out they are deliberately included to weed out people like me – they want to attract those who are less critical, who can be hooked by greed and who won’t think about the logic of helping someone move a few millions dollars from one country to another.
I’ve copied two recent emails below, with contact info removed so you aren’t tempted. Apparently I have $1.5 million waiting for me at Western Union. I have no idea why, or how it got there, I just am supposed to be happy to receive my $5,000 a day. Since the money is there for me I will have no problems coughing up the administration fee they ask for in the next email. Why they can’t just take those fees out of the capital is something never properly explained.
The second email seems brilliant – a court payment to those who have been victimized by scams. What person who has been victimized wouldn’t want to believe it was real? I notice that both emails have a “Rev.” as a person to contact – the implication being that you can trust a clergyman, or at least someone who claims to be one. Never having been victim of such a scam I won’t be following up on that one either.
It all comes back to wants and needs. Too many of us don’t understand the difference, which makes us easy targets for the scammers. Always remember, in life, and especially on the internet, if it seems too good to be true it probably isn’t true.
My dear be informed that your fund of One Million Five Hundred thousand United State Dollars ($1,500,000.00USD) has been deposited to Western Union for immediate transfer, The payment will be sent to you ON installment bases by western Union, the amount you will receive per each day is $5,000.00 ( Five thousand Dollars ) The Minister Trust Funds of United Nation will be sending to you the current standard track details you need to pick up your ($5,000) payment by western union every day till you received the total amount of $1,500,000.00 United State Dollars.
The Director administrator trust funds have already signed your payment, now you are free to contact the western union payment office on this email however, kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your payment by Western Union per $5,000 a day.
Sir. Rev.Fidelis Onuorah,
Western Union Department Abuja,
The Western Union Payment Center has been mandated to issue out your payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s)or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to process your payment:
Your full name_________________________
Your Phone number____________________
Comply now by asking Sir Reverend Fidelis Onuorah your payment MTCN Number because as soon as you sent this required details to Sir Reverend Fidelis Onuorahn, he will start sending your payment by Western Union.
Western Union Payment Center.
Sur Cour Internationale de Justice
THEME: US$5 BILLION WORTH OF PAYMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED
The International Court Of Justice has ruled in favour of all payment beneficiaries/Inheritance beneficiaries,creditors as Instructed by United Nation in Conjunction with World Bank. We have also signal First Bank Of Nig Plc since most of the funds originated from that part of world for final affecting of your fund via Automatic Teller Machine(ATM) this was because of level of scam going on in the world today. United Nations dedicated team of lawyers and human right activists, who consist of some fraction of the European and American legal luminary, have been working to make sure that you receive your overdue payment as been delayed in the past unconditionally without any reservation.
Sequel to the legal fight to make matters so simple for you, the Lawyers have succeeded in the conclusion of the road map for your fund transfer by ATM Card system of payment. Having presented your long years ordeal to the International Court Of Justice, the President of this court with the judges has unanimously ruled in your favour pertaining the non-payment of any applicable Taxes Except To Obtain President ail Exemption Priority Code(PEPO) with The Office Of Presidency To Cover and avoid all Fees, until your ATM Card is Delivered , This is the wonderful achievement.
However, you have been required by the International Court Of JusticeЎЇs Registry, for the establishment of Your Presidential Exemption Priority Code(PEPO),so that your fund Via ATM card will be delivered in your Doorstep. You are also advised to write REV William Peters (Director ATM Department First Bank Of Nig Plc) as He is the Person to Facilitate your fund. Your fund is with First Bank Of Nig (FBN) but Rev William Peters Has the Mandate to Facilitate your fund and will direct you on what to do.
It is important that you reconfirm to REV William Peters (Director ATM Department First Bank Of Nig Plc)) right away with the following for cross checking to avoid mistakes.
1) YOUR DIRECT PHONE/FAX NUMBER
2) YOUR TOTAL/AMOUNT
3) YOUR RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
The International Court Of Justice has solidified all plans to make your payment a success.Please, try and call REV William Peters
SO BE TRUTHFULL AND HUMBLE IN ANY DIRECTION GIVEN TO YOU.CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE.
Dr Phillipe Couever
Registrar, International Court Of Justice
International Court of Justice Court
Internationale de Justice, Hague