Sunday, February 25, 2007

You May Already Be A Winner

Judging from all of the random e-mails I receive, Africa is positively teeming with rich yet persecuted millionaires who are dropping dead like flies and leaving their money hidden in random banks. Then it passes on to some legitimate heir to try and get the money back, yet for some reason, they can’t get access to the money and need someone to help them out. Sometimes its not an heir but a lawyer claiming that I am the last surviving relative and the next of kin. Whichever it is, I have to respond with the utmost secrecy for it to be safe, even though its supposed to be perfectly legitimate. All I have to do is provide my significant information and some sort of down payment.

If some long lost Protestant farmer millionaire uncle dying in a plane crash doesn’t get you greedy for large sums of cash, there’s always the lottery. The South African lottery, that is.

Yes; somehow, despite never setting foot on the continent of Africa, nor ever signing up for any such contest, I have won a significant sum of money. All I have to do is provide my significant information and some sort of down…payment… Wait a minute. That sounds awfully familiar. Besides, if I won some sort of lottery, why would I have to give THEM money to get the money? That’s counterintuitive.

The first time I got one of these, I thought it was pretty original and the horrible grammar and spelling was cute. And they were a change of pace from the completely nonsensical spam mail that read like dadaist poetry. Then more and more started appearing in my inbox. Now I get, on average, three a month. Not so original anymore. Still laughably written, especially when you consider that these are supposed to be “educated lawyers.”

The way I see this scam is sort of like those movies that spoof whole genres. The first one, kind of stupid but kind of amusing on a fourth grade level. With each progressive sequel/spin off, it gets dumber and formulaic until you get to the point of wishing justified unpleasantries upon the perpetrators.

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