No, I'm not talking about eBay addiction, nor add$ for v1@gr@, c1ali$, or herbal supplements guaranteed to give you a ten-inch wang--though those rate fairly high on my list of cyberscum.
No, I am talking about 419 scammers.
They piss me off, if only because they are too lazy to go out and make money the old-fashioned way. If I were black, I'd be doubly pissed at them for giving my race a bad name (as if lazy negro jokes didn't abound already; and the cycle of indentured servitude called "welfare" isn't helping that image at all).
And I would directly tell them so--simply say "Piss off and go get a real job," alert Yahoo about spam from that address, and go on my way.
But then, I read about a couple of guys having fun with 419 Nigerians. I personally wouldn't go so far as to enter into phone conversations with them, but I figured that I could at least get a little more creative in my responses.
Here's the latest that came in the inbox of one of my email accounts:
I am Barrister Jude Sekaso, a legal practitioner, I am the personal attorney
to Mr. Eric C. Hatfield, a national Of your country, who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lome, Togo. He used to be my client.
On the 7th June, 2003, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road. All occupants
of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended
relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.
After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last
name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted
you.I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$12.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or
declared unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm where this huge amount
The said Security Finance Company has issued me a notice to provide the next
of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official
Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for over 2 years
now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased
since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can
be paid to you.
Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss
the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.I have all necessary
information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.
All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this
transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under
legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Jude Sekaso Esq
This seems to be the tack they're taking with Yahoo members nowadays...before, it was just the usual "Hey, I don't know you, but I have all this money and I'd like to give you some of it," then they added slight twists. One wrote to my German account that he was an American soldier who got a hold of some of Saddam's money and was trying to get it over to the States (that pissed me off). Still another claimed to be a faithful brother in the Lord who wanted to share with me God's blessings--but only if he can deposit some of it in my account (which I found extremely distasteful).
Now they want to bless lil' ol' me with some money from a long-distant relative. As if I didn't know my family. As if there weren't other Hatfields that would be entitled to this money before me (my father is still very much alive).
So, I decided to play back the "Family" card on him:
Honorable Mr. Sesasko,
I am well aware of the situation with my distant cousin Eric. Unfortunately, your information is at best sketchy. Allow me to explain.
While, on the surface, it seems that Eric was an employee for Shell Oil, we who are his family knew better. He was promised a share in our South African Diamond Mine operations (it is a little-known fact that we Hatfields are the de Beers' most aggressive competitor), but given his own penchant for power and self-determinism, he decided to pursue wealth among other venues.
Most of these venues involved, how shall I say, less-than-legal enterprises, while the legal ones served as money-laundering operations for his black market activities.
We did hear about the "accident" a few hours after it had happened. The notice came in the form of an anonymous threat saying that anyone who crossed "The Family" would meet the same fate. Police examination of the crime scene yielded obvious evidence of foul play, the most prominent of which being a large-caliber gunshot wound to the back of Eric's head.
We were also notified by the American Embassy in Togo of his fate, and were investigated ourselves regarding further family contact with "The Family." It was a fairly nasty affair that sullied my family's reputation somewhat. Still, in the end, our names were cleared in June of 2005.
It was then that we were asked questions regarding his bank account and what to do with it. We gave specific instructions that we wanted no part of his money. If you contacted a legitimate and upstanding staff member of our embassy in Togo, he would have told you that. But, it seems that greed is very much alive among the citizens of that island, and if you are not an active participant in it yourself, you have been duped into getting involved by someone who is.
You have my sympathies for the legal and possibly life-threatening consequences of your endeavor. The meager $12.5 million belongs to several government agencies, rightfully seized from a known criminal. Furthermore, "The Family" also lays claim to much of that money, and will no doubt take their nefarious measures to reclaim what they feel is theirs.
Hr. Mg. J.T. Hatfield
No response as of yet, neither do I believe there will be.
This fish bites back.