Easy Come…

I just opened my email and received this heartfelt letter from someone I’ve never met before in my life:

Dearest.Friend,

This is to inform you about my success in getting the money moved under the
cooperation of a new partner from South Korea.

Presently i’m in South Korea for investing my own part of the money
Meanwhile,i
didn’t forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in moved the cash
despite that both of us could not make it.

Now contact my secretary,his name is Mr frank Ugokwe and his email address
is: ( frank_ugokwe0@yahoo.fr ) ask him to send you the sum of ( 800,000.00
Dollar) in a Certified Draft which i kept for your compensation for all the
past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your
efforts at that time very much.

So feel free and get in touched with my secretary Mr frank Ugokwe and instruct
him where to send the money to you.

Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy
together after all the sufferness at that time. in the moment, i am very busy
here investing with my new partner . finally, I have forwarded instruction to
my secretary to send the Confirmable Draft to you, so feel free to get
in touch
with Mr frank Ugokwe  and he will send the Draft to you
without any delay.

Best Regards

Mr.John Mba

_______

First of all– with such a nice windfall, don’t you think this person would have been able to afford a proofreader for this pitiful little email?

But seriously folks: would YOU really believe for one hot minute this email if someone sent it to you?

Apparently there are enough people out there who would believe this and many other scams: for instance, there is a similarly worded email going around about getting a windfall from a Nigerian king/wealthy man who is about to die without heirs/needs to invest his money overseas/must give you some money (or several versions of the same predicament) if only he could get $4000 to $8000 to cover some mysterious fees.  Or send sensitive information to someone’s secretary.

And of course people have lost their $4000 to $8000 thinking that a little charity will mean $100K for them.

________

Why do people love shortcuts so much?  Why are people willing to believe that things that sound too good to be true usually are so?

What is it about the human condition that reads an email like this and, despite the thousands of alarm bells possibly ringing in the mind, shoves all fears aside and decides, "Hey!  I could be RICH, byatch!"

Of course, when people fall prey to these scams, there is much crying and gnashing of teeth, but many of the suckers never seem to blame themselves for their misfortunes. 

_______

You may be thinking something along the lines of, "Well, it’s a sign of the times: email disperses things so very quickly and non-tech-savvy people are bound to think that this is something real and not imagined."

You may also think that it’s our rotten society nowadays that is to blame.

So then it might surprise you to find out that this particular con has been around since the 1920’s (thank you, Snopes.com) as the "Spanish prisoner" con.  So even back then, in a more innocent time, people were still seeking for a fast way out of the poorhouse, and other people were getting fat and happy from those suckers.

_______

Why do it? Why give in to things that are clearly so very wrong that –if we bothered to listen to our inner selves for one second– we inwardly reject to the point of vomit, only to turn around and do them and then wall ourselves in with fortresses of excuses so well mortared that we can’t even see out of them?

Excuses, excuses.  That’s all we have left when we go against our own instinct and get greedy.

Anyone out there know what I mean?

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This entry was published on January 8, 2007 at 4:26 pm and is filed under Soapboxing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Easy Come…

  1. *nods sagely* You said part of the answer in your next-to-last line – greed, greed and ego. People believe in scams like this because they are greedy. They think that they get these shortcuts because they deserve it and so they can’t risk losing the chance. Then again, there are some people out there who truly are stupid and would never have made it to adulthood without a lot of help. As long as there are gullible people, through naivety or stupidity or ego, there will be people willing and capable of scamming them.

  2. Oh goodness. At my last job we got that thing about the Nigerian king FAXED to us. I read it, laughed heartily, and threw it away. Scams can be good for a chuckle.

  3. cristina on said:

    You would be amazed. I work for a government agency, and, apparently, more than 1 of my co-workers was taken in by this scam. So we ALL had to go to training to learn that this type of thing is likely to get your bank account cleaned out. **roll eyes**

  4. Oh, and it’s not just this kind of scam! Since we have been advertising on the web for our adoption, we have received e-mails at least weekly from Cameroon and Nigeria about children we can adopt as soon as we send them $5,000 for “expenses.” (OH, and by the way, some of these kids were apparently left zillions of dollars by their biological parents that will be transferred to the adoptive parents!) I mean, hellooooo? International adoption is not that easy, folks… 🙂

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