April 04, 2014

It's All Good Until Somebody Gets Hurt

Well, it took over a decade but I actually know someone who got taken in by Nigerian scammers.

Yes, the seemingly impossible has happened: my father-in-law's cousin is now $25,000 shy.  I'd like to know more but obviously it's a very sensitive subject.

It amazes me that this could happen this late in the email evolution/revolution, at a time most of us have been thoroughly conditioned to ignore mail that start like this (which I received this very day):
My Dearest One,

This is Miss Marina Sanzel from Trinidad & Tobago. I am writing from the hospital in Ivory Coast , therefore this mail is very urgent as you can see that I’m dying in the hospital which I don’t know what tomorrow will be.

I inherited some money ($2.5 Million) from my late father and I cannot think of anybody trying to kill me apart from my step mother in order to inherit the money, she is an Ivorian by nationality. 
That last sentence is a doozey.  "Some" money?  $2.5 million is some serious cash in my world.  And then the dramatic "I cannot think of anybody trying to kill me" with the quick reversal "apart from my stepmother".  Ah yes the evil stepmother trope. I think we need to kill that plot-line, too predictable.  But the beauty of it all is the sudden non-sequitor: "She is an Ivorian by nationality."

(Cue ominous music.) 

So is this supposed to mean something, as if Ivorians are not to be trusted? Or am I meant to stay tuned, the "Ivorian" a brilliant foreshadowing that will make sense later? I think you see by now the literary depth involved in these emails.  Later she writes:
Give 20% of the money to my servant Mathieu as he has been there for me through my illness and I have promised to support him in life. I want you to take him along with you to your country and establish him as your son.
Hey, wow! Now there's a plot twist.  You're not just getting money, you're gaining a son.

So these ruses must work else they would not exist. The word hasn't gotten out. You can never underestimate the limits of communication, that someone will not hear that there is such a thing as email scammers. If that "obvious" piece of information has not been universally communicated, what else hasn't? 

2 comments:

William Luse said...

"I actually know someone who got taken in by Nigerian scammers."

25 grand? Seriously?

TS said...

Yep seriously. Crazy isn't it?