Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Outfoxing those pesky scammers
“Your e-mail id has won £750,000.00 pounds,’’ the junk message began enthusiastically, “from the British JUMBO draw, held on 7th September 2013 with application draw number 014.’’
Yippeee! I am rich. To claim the jumbo funds, I have to provide my full name, address, mobile phone number, age, and country. Oh yeah, and those silly processing fees will have to be taken care of.
On top of that, I also am due to collect a few millions accumulating in Accra, Ghana. Lawyers over there have written seeking my consent to present me as the next of kin to the account of a deceased client for claims valued at $18.4 million. Apparently, there must be a shortage of willing next-of-kin impersonators in Africa and so “Mr John Adjei’’ has to ply his legal services via the internet to foreign folk anywhere.
Either I should start packing for a luxury world cruise or I am the most gullible woman ever born.
Everyone has received wacko scam e-mails at some point and I seem to get a nice thick share of the loons. I have had business proposals from princes and chiefs in Ghana; offers of secret millions from the UK; and solicitors from here, there and everywhere are desperate to help me get rich. All I ever have to do is send money for necessary legal expenses or taxes and all my personal and financial details, just short of my blood type and full DNA profile.
Do people still fall for these hoaxes? Are folks so greedy they will electronically expose their innards to anyone they meet online?
There used to be a saying popular among conmen: you can’t con an honest man. Honest people are not going to try to outsmart the tax collector or claim money that is not rightfully theirs or believe in get-rich-quick schemes because honest people tend to be familiar with hard work and persistence.
Usually, it takes very little effort for me to delete these scam e-mails. But depending on my mood, I could also have some fun with the creeps.
To “Joy Joy Leo,’’ who was so interested in my health and wanted to get to know me so we could “exchange mutual benefits,’’ I replied, “Dear Joy Joy, my health is equivocal. I could use your help. For mutual benefits, please come and clean my windows since I can’t get up the ladder these days. That way, I could see through you much better. Please tell me your bank account number, so I can send the airfare. Can’t wait.’’
When the solicitors from foreign offer to make me cousins of deceased millionaires and ask for my contact information, I send them the address and phone number of the Commissioner of Police. Wish I could eavesdrop on that conversation.
But last week, I received a particular message which had me thinking that maybe I have been too closed-minded. Instead of being so suspicious and cynical, I should attempt to conjure up a spirit of adventure. The message: “My name is Ellen Moore. I need you to help me complete my late husband dreams.’’
My reply: “Dear Ellen, sorry that your husband is late. Mine is present and has no sense of humour. Dreams are not permitted, especially those involving strange men. Or women, bless him. However, I consulted my astrological adviser and it seems I am due for a galactical lifestyle change. Please send a picture of yourself, preferably fully clothed and clean-shaven, and give your wig a good rinse-out in Dettol antiseptic lotion before styling.’’
Alas, I am yet to hear another word from Ellen. She is probably still cursing me for making her ruin her wig.
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