I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE AND TRUST
For the past few months, I've been receiving an assortment of colorful e-mails in my freelance in-box. Okay, some would say scams. But, because they're inappropriately sandwiched between the very straight forward details of local events, I find them, for the most part, highly amusing.
Of course, as a writer, I am also slightly disturbed by the editorial quality, content and complete lack of attention to detail. So, as a service to, you, Mrs. Melina Mohammed (great name BTW), I took a virtual pen to your copy. You're welcome.
I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE AND TRUST
[All caps? Really? And this is your idea of a title that I'm going to respond to? Weak. Better? LET ME RUB YOUR FEET AT MY BEACHFRONT VILLA]
FROM THE DESK OF MRS.MELINA MOHAMMED
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING MANAGER,
BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A)
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO
[What's the street address for this joint? Trust. I don't know that 348 Main Street is really a Kentucky Fried Chicken. And if a corporate bank makes you use a google email@example.com--I wouldn't have taken that job in the first place.]
[HA! If we're such good pals, I think you'd know my name. At least first. That is, after all, in my e-mail address. My city's there too, if you were observant. Pardon me, but isn't being a good con artist about paying attention to details?]
(CONFIDENTIAL TRUST BUSINESS DEAL.)
[Because mockery of your intelligence doesn't have the same cache.]
I KNEW THAT THIS MESSAGE WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE; [No shit.] I AM THE AUDITING MANAGER IN BANK OF AFRICA (BOA) OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO, WEST AFRICA . I HOPE THAT YOU WILL NOT EXPOSE OR BETRAY THIS TRUST AND CONFIDENT THAT I AM ABOUT TO IMPOSE ON YOU FOR THE MUTUAL BENEFIT OF OUR FAMILIES. [Way, way too late for that…]
I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THE SUM OF (USD$22.5 MILLION DOLLARS)TO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHIN 10 BANKING WORKING DAYS. THIS MONEY HAS BEEN DORMANT FOR YEARS IN OUR BANK WITHOUT ANY BODY CLAIMING THE FUND.
[22.5 million dollars?! This is the magic figure you think will call the masses into action? Maybe $250. Or $2500. But this number is way over the top. Do people actually fall for this? Don't answer.]
I WANT THE BANK TO RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEAREST PERSON TO OUR DECEASED CUSTOMER, WHO DIED ALONG WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY ON SATURDAY, 6th DECEMBER, 2003 IN A PLANE CRASH.
[So even if I had relatives in West Africa, which I clearly don't, and even if they died in a plane crash in 2003, which they clearly didn't, perhaps a piece of authentication would serve well here. Like a name? Type of plane they went down in? This is exactly where your scamming empire could benefit from a creative writer on staff.]
I DON'T WANT THE MONEY TO GO INTO OUR BANK TREASURY ACCOUNT AS AN ABANDONED FUND,SO THIS IS THE REASON WHY I CONTACTED YOU SO THAT THE BANK CAN RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THE DECEASED. PLEASE I WILL LIKE YOU TO KEEP THIS PROPOSAL AS A TOP SECRET AND DELETE IT IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED.
[But what fun would that be? Don't worry. I'm sure no one else is reading this.]
UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR REPLY, I WILL GIVE YOU FULL DETAILS ON HOW THE BUSINESS WILL BE EXECUTED AND ALSO NOTE THAT YOU WILL HAVE 30% OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED SUM IF YOU AGREE TO HANDLE THIS BUSINESS WITH ME, AND 60% OF THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE FOR ME THEREAFTER,AND 10% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR ANY EXPENSES THAT ARISE ON THE PROCESS BEFORE THE FUND GET INTO YOUR ACCOUNT SUCH AS TELEPHONE CALL BILLS(ETC).
[So, I get 6.75 million. You get 13.5 million? And that's gonna make me think you're an honest human being? I mean, this is a scam right? None of what you're promising is going to come true in the real world to begin with, so why don't we split it 50-50 on paper. It's not like you're going to make good on your word anyway.]
I LOOK FORWARD EXPECTING TO HEAR FROM YOU.
[I can't respond based on your bad, bad English alone.]
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
7. MARITAL STATUS:
8. PHONE NO:
[Wait a minute...that's all you want? What about my Social Security number? Bank account info? Oh, I guess requesting that falls into universal scam tip-off. Right. My bad.]
N.B PLEASE I BEG YOU WITH THE NAME OF ALLAH, IF YOU CANNOT FINISH THIS BUSINESS DO NOT CARE TO REPLY, I DON'T WANT THIS MONEY TO HANG ON THE WAY.
[N.B.? That I had to look up. It's Latin for Nota Bene aka Note Well. Hey, I guess I did learn something from our correspondence. Here in the good 'ole US of A, we opt for PS. And really? You had to go invoke the name of Allah? Not cool.]
[PS Mrs. Melinda Mohammed. Do reach out if you need any help on future projects. I'LL QUOTE YOU A FAIR RATE HANDSOMELY.]