I get a ton of spam. Most I delete. Every once in a while, something good lands in my inbox just begging for a response...and who am I not to take advantage of the opportunity to amuse myself?
Below is the classic I'm-from-Nigera-and-have-a-ton-of-money-but-need-your-help-to-get-it-to-the-U.S. scam, and I just couldn't resist responding...
From: DR. USMAN JAFFER. [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 6:31 AM
Subject: urgent business relationship
ATTN: MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO
IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WRITE AND INFORM YOU, THAT YOU WERE CHOSEN TO ACT AS NEXT OF KIN TO LATE ENG. EDEN ANDREW WILSON.
I AM SOORY IF THIS LETTER COMES TO YOU AS AN EMBARRASMENT BUT BE REST ASSURED THAT YOUR PARTICULARS OF CONTACT WAS GIVEN TO ME THROUGH OUR LARGE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AFTER A DUE SEARCH, FOR RELIABLE AND CAPABLE FOREIGNER THAT WILL HANDLE CONFIDENTIALLY A TRANSFER OF HUGE SUM OF MONEY,FROM UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC TO A FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNT.
THE DEAL IN DETAILS: - A FOREIGNER, LATE ENG. EDEN ANDREW WILSON WASAN OIL MERCHANT/CONTRACTOR WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA AND RESIDESHERE IN NIGERIA UNTIL HIS DEATH FIVE YEAR AGO IN A GHASTLY MOTOR ACCIDENT.
HE HAD A DEPOSIT OF (US$32, 624,000) THIRTY TWO MILLION, SIX HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS, WITH THE UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC BEFORE HIS DEATH IN AUGUST 1996.I AM HIS ACCOUNT OFFICER AT THE UNION BANK, AND NOBODY HAS SERVICED THE ACCOUNT OR SHOWN UP FOR HIS MONEY SINCE AFTER HIS DEATH TILL DATE.
ALTHOUGH, EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE BANK TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HIS NEXT OF KIN OR ANY OF HIS RELATIONS, BUT ALL TO KNOW AVAIL (HE HAD NO WIFE OR CHILDREN).
IT IS ON THIS NOTE SOME TOP OFFICIALS OF UNION BANK, WHO ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE INCIDENT RESOLVED AND ASKED ME TO FIND AND NEGOTIATE WITH TRUST WORTHY FOREIGNER WHO IS WILLING TO ASSIST,AND ACT AS NEXT OF KIN TO THE LATE ENG. EDEN ANDREW WILSON,THIS SUM OF MONEY IS NOW KEPT IN THE “DECEASED ACCOUNT” OF THE UNION BANK PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS MONEY (US$32, 624, 000) WHEN TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE USED FOR A JOINT VENTURE ESTABLISHMENT, AS MAY BE AGREED BY BOTH PARTIES INVOLVED.
THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE, FOR WE HAVE CONCLUDED EVERY ARRANGEMENT TO SAFEGUARD YOU IN THIS TRANSACTION.
THEREFORE, IF YOU WISH TO ASSIST US, HASTEN UP AND SEND THE FOLLOWING
TO ENABLE US EFFECTIVELY PROCESS THE NECESSARY DOCUMENT FOR SMOOTH
TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT, TO BE NOMINATED BY YOU AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THE LATE ENG. EDEN ANDREW WILSON, YOU ARE URGENTLY REQUIRED TO SEND TO ME.
THE NAME TO BE USED IN CHANGING THE EXISTING NEXT OF KIN AT THE BANK. YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBER FOR FAST AND SAFE COMMUNICATION.
WE KNOW WE HAVE NEVER MET OR ENTERED INTO ANY KIND OF TRANSACTION WITH YOU BEFORE AS TO KNOW THE EXTENT OF YOUR TRUST AND HONESTY. BUT BASED WITH THE RECOMMENDATION,I PERSONALLY WANT TO BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL NOT SIT ON THE MONEY IF IT FINALLY GETS TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
IT IS ON THIS NOTE I CONSIDER IT PROPER TO WRITE AND ASK FOR YOUR CONSENT, AND PERMISSION TO SUPPORT THE TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
PLEASE, FOR SECURITY REASONS ACKNOWLEDGE ME THE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER BY MAILING ME BACK THROUGH MY E-MAIL ADDRESS.
I AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE,
DR. USMAN JAFFER.
Thank you for your e-mail of 3 May 2002. I am honored and humbled that you would choose me for such an opportunity.
You can rest assured that your search for a reliable and capable foreigner that will handle confidentially a transfer of huge sum of money has succeeded. I am reliable, capable, a foreigner, and I regularly transfer huge sums of money (I write quite small so I am able to fit all of the amount of a check on that line where you write it out -- it took a lot of practice).
I am very sorry to hear about Eng. Eden Andrew Wilson and his ghastly motor accident. I would like to know more details about his accident. Did he hit an elephant or rhino while driving? Did his car have an SRS? If not, if it did have one, would it have saved him? I think that every car that does not have an SRS should be retrofitted with one, because it can save lives. I have seen the devastation that hitting an elephant or rhino can have on a car, and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy (who happens to be Dr. Doom).
I am also sorry to hear that Eng. Eden Andrew Wilson did not have a wife or any children. I guess he spent all of his time working (so he could amass a huge sum of money) and never took the time to find that special someone to share his life with. That's unfortunate. Perhaps if he had found that special someone, she would have made him purchase a car with an SRS, and his ghastly motor accident would not have done him in. In fact, if he had a wife and children, he probably wouldn't have been out on that road where he hit an elephant (or rhino) because he would have been home spending time with his family. It's a shame. I have found that special someone. Her name is Elle MacPherson, perhaps you've heard of her? I have asked her to marry me several times, but I think that both of our busy schedules are getting in the way. The last time I asked, she sent me a very nice story, entitled "Restraining Order". I have not read it yet, but it is on my list (right after "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard). It is not signed by her, but by some judge -- she must think very highly of me to go out of her way to have some judge sign it. I can't wait until we are married.
After reading your offer, I believe that I can act as Eng. Eden Andrew Wilson's next of kin. I have taken a few acting classes. I know that I can act as a lion or a turkey (we had to act as them in class). Acting as a next of kin shouldn't be that much more difficult. Would I have to change my name? Wilson is not a bad last name. It was the name of a US President. You have to admire the parents who decided to name their child Woodrow (what is a woodrow anyway?). It's not as bad as naming your kids Mike Carr (say "where is Mike Carr" out loud) or Lisa Carr ("Lisa Carr? Will I have an option to buy?" HA! Get it?). Perhaps a nice Shakespearean first name would work. How about "Iago Wilson" (I always liked villains)? Maybe a soap opera name would be better...how about "Brett Dylan Wilson III"? You know what, we can decide on a name later.
I understand that the money, once transferred, will be used in a joint venture establishment (perhaps a bar -- I always wanted to own a bar -- oh, I just thought of a good name for myself, "Norm Wilson". Get it? Norm, from Cheers. The TV show about a bar. Get it?). I am also relieved that you have taken the steps to make sure it is 100% risk free. I never did like that game anyway -- Monopoly is more my style. I remember the sheer joy I had as a kid playing Monopoly with my father. One time, I had hotels on both Park Place and Boardwalk. He landed on Park Place on one roll and had to pay something close to $1500 for rent (I don't remember the exact amount right now). On his very next turn, he rolled a two and landed on Boardwalk. He wound up bankrupt in two rolls of the die (fate can be funny...just ask Eng. Eden Andrew Wilson). Hey, whatever happened to "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"? It was on every other night, and now I can't find it anywhere. I have to watch that "Regis and Kelly" (I don’t like her) to get my weekly Regis dose. Do you get it in Nigeria? It's a lot of fluff, but once in a while they have an interesting show. If you don't get it, I would be happy to tape it for you on my VCR and send you the tapes once a week (but you have to promise to return them!).
But I digress. I am a little wary of sending my private telephone number through the Internet. I am afraid that the little green men that follow me in their space ship will intercept it and call me. The only time I feel safe from them is when I am at home because I have wallpapered my house with a special substance that their rays can not penetrate. It is the heaviest substance known to man, the Sunday NY Times. All of my hard work would be for naught if they were to call me on the phone because they would be able to read my mind through the receiver. If you could send me your phone number, I would be happy to call you when it is safe (they usually return to their home planet of Tatooine every six weeks).
I am glad that I came to your attention so highly recommended. If you would be so kind, could you please let me know who recommended me to you (I would like to write them a thank you note). After the transaction is complete, I would definitely not sit on the money (it leaves an ugly green stain on your butt).
I am excited by this opportunity and eagerly await your response.