The email scams


As an aside to this post, I have discovered and come to the judgment that e-mail should no longer be hyphenated. In its infancy electronic mail or e-mail was hyphenated because of the fact that it really wasn’t a word but a shortening of two words. Now, in modern times we seem to drop the hyphens from many words such as on-line becomes online and so forth. So, for now and forever I have decreed that I will cease all use of the hyphenated email structure.

In all reality, it will likely save me about thirty-thousand seconds a year. Granted, I’m drunk and a bad estimator.

Anyway, today I’d like to point something out about email scams. They happen often and have taken many common buzzwords such as phishing. Traditionally these scams came out of the printed world and if you follow the history of Nigerian 419 scams they have been around forever. The concept is always the same, someone or something has money and somehow you’ve been found out as the person who is going to get it all, with a slight investment, and a social security number.

You will never win.

Hrm, I wonder if that statement is impactfull enough being on its own line, just in case:

YOU WILL NEVER WIN!

Sorry I had to be so nasty there, but its true, you will never prosper from one of these scams. Just for giggles lets analyze one that I received just today:

Good day,

I know this proposal will come to you as a surprise especially when you do not know the writer, considering the huge sum of money involved which could make any apprehensive. Let me start by introducing myself to you.

I am Michael Jefferson, I work in the accounting department of a Finance house, here in Europe. I saw your contact during my private search at the information center,I want to believe that you will be very honest, committed and capable of assisting in this business venture.

It is based on this that I am contacting you to stand as the next-of-kin to a late client of the Finance House so that the total sum of $5million (Five million United States Dollars) will be released and paid to you as the beneficiary and the next-of-kin to the deceased. All documents, and proof to enable you get the funds have been carefully worked out as I have secured from the different offices concerned for the smooth transfer of the fund to you.

If this proposal satisfies you, please respond to me with the following information.

-FULL NAME

-TELEPHONE/FAX NUMBER-

-ADDRESS-

-AGE-

-SEX-

-OCCUPATION-

I await your urgent response, all the best and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Michael Jefferson

Alright, now lets think about this for a minute and look for some key sections. “specially when you do not know the writer” and “you will be very honest, committed and capable of assisting in this business venture.”

How would such a person, who clearly doesn’t know you, ever possibly come up with this information that you would be a honest committed person? Think of that in terms of real life. If I walked up to you (granted you’d have to not know me) and said you are trustworthy and honest, wanna make some money? You would indeed be skeptical.

However, something like 45% of the world would still string me along, go through the motions, be careful about it, and end up getting screwed anyway, why?

Because there is the thought of getting a huge sum of money for doing nothing.

Now, in America its perfectly reasonable to assume there are times where you can get money for doing nothing, such as bogus workman compensation claims or insurance fraud but at least with these you are actively screwing someone, now apply the same logic to a phishing email.

That’s it Timmy, your starting to get it now aren’t you?

I have actually had two people now, both clients of mine, that have both lost sums of money in these scams. The pretense is often something like “I need seed money to get a lawyer so we can get the money out of the bank from the horrible African oppressors, free the princess, give you five-million dollars, etc.”

How can anyone think that is true? Honestly? How is it that thousands of people fall for these scams all the time? Seriously?

So, OK. Here we go. Just because I care about my loyal readers (all eight of them). If you get one of these emails and you feel strongly about sending your credit card information to a foreign country with no laws inclusive to international electronic fraud, call me or email. Then, I’ll have you wire 2,000 dollars to my personal account. Then, I’ll never talk to you again.

That way, rest assured it only happens once and then your information isn’t floating around a foreign country like a Macy’s day balloon animal. Plus, I get 2,000 dollars which I can put towards my college education. This works out for everyone, makes the world go around, yadda, yadda.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say here, America, and all. QUIT BEING SO DUMB! You will never get any money or anything from any of these scams, and these people who have obtained your email address have done so through nefarious or simply guessing methods. They don’t know you, they send out the same message to thousands of people and the few that it sticks with end up profiting them greatly. Maybe if I said that it helps fund international terrorism you’d stop? Maybe?

Well that’s all for now, be safe, and remember shift->delete those emails and never think about them again. Its barely worth investing the time to read more than “You don’t know me, but I can make you rich.”

lunks


3 responses to “The email scams”

  1. Lunks, thanks for the insight.

    craigslist has to be the King, Queen, Prince, etc, and so on, of all scams. Just try selling … anything … on there. You will be offered way more than you are advertising it for, from someone (usually in Africa) who desperately wants to pay you more than it is worth!

    So, people obviously buy into these scams or they wouldn’t keep doing it. Do these people who fall for it deserve to, should they have known better?

    By the way. I hope your recent absence from the blog means you have been out on that bike! Enjoying the beautiful surrounds on offer in Plymouth. And not sitting at home sampling the Taddy Porter!

  2. Thanks (Computer User) for the comment. You are right craiglist is infected, and its really just a very public plain text method for bots (automated computer programs) to simply suck up every address in sight. What I recommend is using a separate email account dedicated for craiglist when you are selling items, and what can help is requiring people to send something unique in the subject line, i.e. “MOTORBIKE” or something like that.

    Also, another good point. If people didn’t fall for these scams, they would stop…The strange thing is, every year more and more people fall for them. It costs someone in Nigeria or some other remote country nothing to get these things going, so if they manage to make any money, its a win.

    Abuse it was, sir. I’ll probably write about Bluff Creek today, went out golfing then 20 minutes on the elliptical last night. Tonight I plan on riding, provided the weather sticks around.

    lunks

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