by Robert Gillis
published in the Foxboro Reporter 11/2005 and Boston City Paper, 2006
SCAM: You receive an email from a “wealthy foreigner” (usually someone related to the royal family or something) who needs help moving millions of dollars from his homeland. He promises you, a total stranger (but a trusted one) a hefty percentage of this fortune as a reward for assisting him. This is a REAL FRAUD which costs its victim THOUSANDS.
These scammers will usually ask recipients to wire money from small fees to larger payments of thousand of dollars via Western Union or Moneygram to “cover taxes,” or for a “release fee” or for vague “legal costs.” They also ask for all kinds of personal information, copies of driver’s license, passport, PIN codes, leading to IDENTITY THEFT.
WARNING: My parody below is for laughs and to illustrate how ridiculous these letters are, but the fraud is real and people lose thousands every year.
If you EVER receive an email even remotely similar to this:
- DELETE IT, DELETE IT, DELETE IT.
- DO NOT EVER GIVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION (BANKING, SOCIAL SECURITY, ANYTHING) TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW!
My parody… (Just for laughs)
Dear sir / madam / penguin,
Condiments of the season. Grace and piece from this part of the world to you. I hope my letter does not cause me too much embarrassment as i write to you in marginally good faith. Please excuse my english which stinks.
I am prince Moonunit Zappa vii and also represent Shriek Kalel “Sniffles” Yubbah-dubbah-doo, son of the late village idiot who was the former air head of state in nabob. He died in 1998-2005 after a terribly massacry in our poor village during the civil war with the hated band of enemy people who live in the spooky valley. You may observe the trulyness of our story by using your world wide internet on c-n-n and to search for “war” to read about our sad war in our tiny country.
Based on this therefore and so forth, the martyred family has asked me, yoyodine, to work with a stranger in american to move out the totally awesome sum of us $75,000,000,000,000,000,000.00 (seventy five gazillion united states dollars) acquired by the late lunatic, money that is now kept secretly by the family in mason jars in a tool shed. Since the declarative of marital law in our land, the accounts of the royal family have been freezered, and in some other countries you have never heard of. Because of this, his holy highness has requested we seek your assissitance in receiving this money and in embezzling it on behalf of the family idiot.
Since you are a person of good character and reputation, and your spam filter did not delete this email, this must be a joint adventure transaction. Pending when frustration is reached, the transaction most totally would be moving of us $25,000,000,000,000,00,000,000.00( twenty five bazillion unitedstates dollars) into your hopefully not overdrawn bank account.
My clients are willing to give you an unreasonable percentage of this money as soon as the transaction is confusing. I, Prince Fettuccini Alfredo, will say you are willing to work with us and also all pretentious issues discussed before the commencement ceremony of this transaction. As soon as i, Vladimir Davinci, hear from you, i will give you all sorts of unnecessary details as to how we pretend to carry out the whole transaction. Assure you of all sorts of success and safe in this transaction. This is all very legal. Notice: police in your area/town/country (circle one) are corrupt and will steal the money so do not contact them. Please forward to me at your earlier convenience your bank account number, social security, family history, passport, DNA sample and pin num3er for identity verification only.
Please, this transfusion requires absolute secret and you would be expected to treat it as such until the funds are moved out of nabob and your millions delivered to you. Thank you and may the supreme beings you honor shine on your crops.
Mr. Ramen Noodles
Remember: If you win a cash prize or inherited money, you would be notified by certified mail (NO OTHER WAY). The scammers may send you a check or money order as an “advance” and ask you to send money to get the rest. But that’s not how legitimate contest promoters or law firms operate. The check is a fake! If you suddenly come into money, you will pay taxes directly to the government, not to the scammers. Be informed! Be safe!