Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Get Broke Quick Scheme

I have been receiving, with increasing frequency, various con art emails from Africa. You know the ones I mean. They always involve some "untimely death" and bank transfer to Nigeria. Today's reaches new levels of creativity. Here's an excerpt:

I am Mrs Fatou Robinson from war ravaged SIERRA LEONE but presently domiciled in Abidjan Ivory coast with my two sons. My Husband Mr Gilberth Robinson who before his untimely assassination by the rebels was the Director of SIERRA LEONE Diamond corporation.

I don't know what constitutes a timely assassination of one's husband, but that's neither here nor there. It then goes on to explain that I should act as an intermediary for the transfer of funds totalling $15 million into various investments and blah blah blah, and oh yeah, of course I'll earn a sizeable commission for my efforts. But this con artist made several glaring errors. For example, appeals like "for the sake of God and humanity give an immediate positive consideration" are wasted on people like me, who don't think so highly of God and humanity. Not to mention that the claim to being a widow of the Director of SIERRA LEONE Diamond Corporation doesn't do much to bolster my sympathy.

Getting emails like this fills me with a contempt I haven't felt since I sat on the receiving end of endless credit card fraud phone calls at the Eastbay call center. (Worst job ever, by the way.)

I thought about responding with the following email, but ultimately thought better of it:

Dear Fatso Robinson; So sorry to hear about the dead guy. At least you have the diamonds to fall back on. I'm not sure who told you I'm an expert at money handling and investments, but here's something you should know: I failed Financial Accounting twice. So maybe you need to quit being a little skinflint and channel some of that ill-gotten diamond blood money into a professional who can do that for you. Say hi to "the rebels" for me.

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