Below is a piece I originally posted on Blogcritics. It was my official "stance" on the scams, spams and slams that I was dealing with in the Life Electronic. Also, was a little something I zipped off to one of my new 'friends'.
As part of life on the Internet, most of us have received strange emails. They are a nuisance at best, and at worst, could lead to real trouble. If we believe that a little child is dying somewhere, bereft of joy, balloon animals and our email wishes we might think that sending a harmless cyber cheer-up is the way to go. But no, we’ve just provided our email address to potential phishers, spammers, and other no-goodniks. We also helpfully added an invisible label that proclaims, “SUCKER!”
When eBay sends me an email to tell me that my account will be suspended because I’ve been abusing it – am I going to go rectify this matter by replying with an account number, social security, or mother’s maiden name? Gates-All-Mighty – NO! One, because I’m lazy, and two, because I don’t have an eBay account!
And so it goes, a different twist is the “I am Somebody connected with Something Important. In a former life I was related to Prince Abdullah Droola – I am rich/used to be rich/dream of being rich/need to unload some dough” I have started a collection of these entreaties on my own website, just for fun. Here’s a sampling:
“I have the tendency to invest this money in a company with good line of product like your own company and with potential for good capital returns, since your country is one of good investors friendly nation in the world, I would therefore like you to help me in every possible way in securing the fund in your country”
What product am I selling? Besides my superb writing that is. Perhaps they think I’m The Mary Kay. (The fact that she’s passed on probably doesn’t matter)
Meanwhile, my plan is to withdraw just some amount from the accumulated Interest, which will not even affect the main fixed deposit, I will Give you the details of procedure and my full ID when I receive your reply and indication of partner. Your reward and amount to withdraw will be our mutual agreement to avoid any misunderstanding. We have nothing to lose, we only courage to do this
In this case, the sum was the interest (at 7%) of $150,000,000.00. My eyes did roll around for a moment, not unlike the free-flying pupils of Coach Comet in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when he saw the real glowing red nose that poor Rudolph had been hiding under a black rubber thingy.
I can’t flatter myself to think I am alone in the receipt of these scam emails. But vanity ensnares me – and I like to think that these people see something special in me. So, finally I fashioned a response, which will most assuredly fall on deaf, um – IPs. But I had fun anyway!
"Naw, not going to help you steal there, Ms Woodward. Or whoever you are.
Assuming you are a person, and your inquiry is not generated from a machine, I need to inform you that these emails are such old news. Evidently there are all kinds of monies languishing in various bank vaults or safe deposit boxes all around the world.
And I - lowly non-financial-background me seems to be the ONLY person in the good old capitalistic USA (or any other industrialized nation) with a pulse that is capable of receiving said monies. To do what with though, that always changes. Sometimes I'm asked to open up accounts, sometimes just put the money under my mattress. I assume it's all start up capital for a cleaning business - must have something to do with laundering - I guess?
That is a bit sad, don’t you think?
Not that I count myself to be among the great unwashed of the world. I don't see why a disposed prince from Fill in obscure African Country here or an official of Fictional Asian Corporation wouldn't want to become my pen pal. I'm kind to animals and I've been told that I'm a decent conversationalist.
So, Ms Woodward, as delightful as this current proposal seems, I'm content with staying on THIS side of the law, at least for today anyway."