It's sad to report that amid all the merriment to be had at the expense of Nigerian 419 fraudsters and their improbable tales of MARIAM ABACHA, Congolese banks stuffed with illicit loot and other entertaining yarns concerning riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice, there are all too real people ready and willing to believe …
"Just a small point, the Darwin Award is given to someone who removes themselves from the gene pool without having procreated, so the kid's father wouldn't be eligible, however, he may be eligible for an honorable mention."
Can you not be made eligible again if you kill yourself, and all your children do the same, as appears to be the threat here.
In your scenario, your pillar of the community might be taken in by "you were recommended to us" but the alarm bells will start ringing the moment he reads "there's two million dollars in it for you if you perform this trivially simple transaction which requires no hard work or highly-valued qualities".
You say I'm known as a trustworthy man. How have I earned trust? By avoiding criminal and immoral activity. How to I avoid criminal and immoral activity? For starters, by knowing what criminal and immoral activity is. So it is inconceivable that I could have gained this reputation and yet the sentence "you can have something for nothing" would not start every alarm bell ringing in my trustworthy head. You really cannot cheat an honest man.
People who go around being honest and friendly but without exercising any judgement don't become known as the upstanding, trustworthy, pillar of the community to whom people go to when they need advice or help. They become known as the village halfwit.
The opening sentence is not trying to convince the subject that the writer knows them personally, it's trying to flatter them. If it was being honest it would open "you were recommended to us as a dissatisfied below-average individual with entitlement issues".
To reiterate, IT literacy has nothing to do with this, so the fact that we're an IT-literate demographic is irrelevant. The scam could work and has worked just as well if done by post or by a man in the street approaching you in a public place.
I've never played a Wizards of the Coast game, so feel free to reply to me with an actual answer instead of patronising nerd jokes.
Of course it's not real...
Why are there so many of you even half wondering if this is real?
Maybe this type of scam will actually work, idiots all of you.
OK, so it took a while to see your reply to my reply to your reply. Or whatever the hell it was...
The point you make is different to the point I made.
The difference is in the type of scam they've been exposed to in the past - they've mainly been exposed to face-to-face, physical artefact scams. You'd be very unlikely to get them to buy a cow/pig at a market that isn't what it seems, for example - because they have experience of that kinda thing. But the magical world of moving numbers around is a different matter entirely.
Also, many, especially older, people still subscribe to the belief that "if it's written down, it must be kosher" - and this puts them off-guard. "If it wasn't ok, they wouldn't be able to put it in writing", kinda thing. They think that because it's in writing, they're somehow protected against it ripping them off!
Yeah, the guy was probably thinking he could maybe make ££££ without much effort by "cheating the system", and he was incredibly stupid for doing so. Not disputing that. But being stupid isn't (yet) a crime. And y'never know. If it's genuine, and he's a preacher, maybe he was going to use the millions to run an orphanage? *koff*
Oh, and it *is* possible to cheat an honest man. e.g. There's not much dishonest about believing in new age medicines etc, and buying a bottle of cat urine from a quack doctor who claims it will cure Condition X. Gullible, yes. But not dishonest.
Now it's pub o'clock at last. Hurrah! Grabbing coat, the one with Geniune Calvin Klein aftershave at £1.50 a bottle in the pockets...
The only way to get money for nothing is with a government job
A world of cynics
India is known to have some of the poorest individuals in the world. People send their sons and daughters away to sell organs so they can gain money. Many of the black market organ killings in the United States happen because families from Africa and South/South-East Asia send their family members off to "earn money" any way they can.
In that respect the fact that this man got taken in doesn't surprise me in the least.
Now, given all this I was expecting the letter to end with "if you could only send me x amount of dollars.." and was surprised when it didn't.
And as for you people criticizing the English? Guess what, for non-English speakers, English is rated as the hardest world language to learn because there are so many exceptions to rules and hard conjugations. Try writing a pleading letter in Japanese. Go ahead, make it flawless. Unless you've lived there (and even then) it may be a bit of a daunting task.
One easy rule for life
If it's unsolicited, be it a phone call, an email, a letter or a caller at your door, DO NOT RESPOND.
I was also decieved by the story but...
I was also very impressed in my internautical naivety of that time by those stories about a large loot from Zaire (now D.R. Congo) by former dictator Mobutu and family. For some days or weeks I also believed in them. But instead of falling to my greed (and the scam), I painfully searched for some D.R. Congo official email adress (quite hard in those times of civil war - but I finally found one at their embassy in South Africa) and sent them a copy in the hope they could recover the stolen millions and use them for the benefit of the people.
The Congo authorities never replied to my disinterested piece of "information" though. I guess they were better informed and had a good laugh at my mail.
PS - This is a real (admittedly quite silly) story.
PS2 - Morals: greed + naivety = disaster. You need something more than mere greed to make millions (at least a couple of neurones).
Psst! , all this talk of the 419 scams reminded me of one we are living in one now except we call it "Democracy" !
For after all we always re-elect the same dead brained incompetents who play us like a harp for ever demanding even more money in the form of taxes to feed their greedy pigopoulos friends with more outrageous schemes they claim will protect us or create an idyllic society from the mysterious never ending improbable threats(sound familiar now) . Create stupid laws design to enrich their mates fat back pockets and when that doesn't work come back with same lame excuse every time for even larger wads of cash to think of an even more improbable answer to that which they do not want !
So effectively we are already living in one big huge 419 scam as we speak (ever notice taxes especially indirect ones never decrease whilst income tax appear to go down they go up at the same time ?)and have been brainwashed subtly by those in power to accept these so called get rich schemes by stealth !
Perhaps the reason why so many greedy and gullible people fall for these so called dead get a brain scams is the simple fact they are trying to bite the hand they hate called the local politician !
Ultimate Scam = VAT - it's just a constant little drip and we're all hooked in.
RMartin, of the many replies I think yours is probably the most informed and eloquent so with respect, I'll address only yours.
Paragraph1: I applaud your position of social support and ask - does the language always come out the same? I have cobbled together smatterings of French to survive on the continent in the past and almost got smacked for it, I have had greater success talking in English but simplifying and juggling the grammar to suit. But then what of "babelfish" or even just sending a message to someone to have it proof read prior to posting? what of spellchecker? The consistent "misspellings" makes it appear that there is a "professional scammers dictionary, thesaurus and grammer switch". The email sent to EL-Vulture is most *certainly* a cry for help, no one disputes that, but the question is, "is it genuine". From your experience of emails from people who really have been scammed (presuming they are all genuine), are these typos, misspells and grammar cockups consistent with your own experiences?
Paragraph2: see title.
Paragraph3: Icon - because it's not just grammar where you can get a c***u* mmm... ;o)
MONETA SVPERVACANEA, MAGISTER
-- Spare Change, Guv'?
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