Sometime in July I received an e-mail at my Sharkbait address. You know, email@example.com Now I maintain this account solely for the purpose of sending anonymous e-mails to my blogging buddies, so getting an e-mail is always a surprise. Especially when it tells me that I just won the Coca Cola Lottery, worth millions of “Great Britain Pound stirlings”. It seems that they wanted me to believe that my e-mail address had been randomly added to a lottery ticket, and that my number was drawn. You lucky fish.
Possible I suppose, except that I am well versed in the ways of Advance-Cash Frauds. (Also knows as 419 Scams, after the Section of the Nigerian Penal Code dealing with this kind of fraud.) So my fishy senses went into overload. Their case was not helped by the fact that I had to respond directly to the manager of Coca-Cola international, on his yahoo.com.hk account. I mean, seriously! How stupid do these people think I am.
For those of you not familiar with this sort of fraud, they dangle money in front of you, hoping that you will be so enticed that you will expend great quantities of your own cash in order to claim it. There would be “service charges” and “collection amounts” all of which would be reclaimable once I received my “One Million Pound stirlings”.
So I ignored them as always. But the one I got last night was priceless.
Another e-mail, also addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org ostensibly from a barristers chamber in London. (Do barristers handle estates? I thought it was solicitors.) I have highlighted the best bits.
Attention: On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the Estate of Late Engr.Jürge Krügger.I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr.Jürge Krügger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($30,100.000.00USD) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. Jürge Krügger until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful,endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.
Note: You are advice to contact me with my personal email below:
Yours in Service, BARRISTER RICHARD GILBERT. PRINCIPAL PARTNERS: Barrister Aidan Walsh Esq. Markus Wolfgang, Mr.John Marvey Esq, Mr.Jerry Smith Esq.
Do these people know that I’m a stuffed fish? I feel like writing back to ask them how I am supposed to sign for the money, as my fins are too weak to hold a pen.
I have decided that I am going to contact the Coca Cola head office, through the address on the letter,and ask them to get in touch with my lawyer, Richard Gilbert, to negotiate the transfer of my winnings. I wonder how long they will write back and forth, and who will end up scamming whom?