Friday, December 08, 2006

A well-frozen corpse

Nigerian scam letters are one of my favourite pseudoliterary genres. Here's a nice specimen that arrived today.

Good day

I am Barrister.Thomas Kazella,lawyer to late Mr.Morris Thompson who lost his life in plane crash involving Alaska Airline's Flight 261, which crashed on January 31st.2000, including his wife and only daughter.

Now I must wank...

Mr. Morris Thompson aged 61 hailed from Fairbanks, Alaska in United States of America. He was one of the states's mostprominent native and business leader. All these you are very free to verify from the web link below for more information and clarification about his socio-economic status until his death;

The effort expended by these modern-day ghouls in trawling the web for news reports of old accidents is truly impressive.

Before the demise of my client, he disclosed to me his account status, which amounted to $15.5million (Fifteen million five hundred thousand United States dollars). He also handed over to me some vital copies of documents regarding this fund already trapped at finance house in EUROPE.

Serves him right for trusting those good-for-nothing Europeans.

I was at the last burial rights on February,5th,2000 to pay my final respect to Late Mr.Morris Thompson.

You mean like this?

There I made thorough inquiries about his relatives but,discovered no one really knows about this fund currently sited at EUROPE.

‘At’ Europe? Oh, let me guess. There must be a small town called Europe somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness, where the company keeps the late Mr Thompson's ill-gotten loot in a big block of ice guarded by ferocious polar bears.

Since then, I have made successive attempts to get his next of kin or relative to come forth and claim this fund but to no avail.

Successive but not successful, eh?

As personal lawyer to my late client, I cannot in any way claim it unless someone overseas does so.

Whereupon you swoop in like a bird of prey, leaving the poor shlub of a foreigner empty-handed.

Just two weeks ago, I received a routine notification from the finance house concerning this fund, and the officials of this firm issued a warning, stressing the urgency for late Mr. Morris Thompson's relative or next of kin to come forward to claim this fund immediately or they will have it confiscated and forwarded to the nation's treasury account as an unclaimed fund.

They'll convert it to $100 banknotes and feed them to the polar bears at Europe, Alaska. If there's anything left it will go to the federal budget and help finance the promotion of democratic values among poor benighted Middle-Eastern nations. Mr Thompson may even get a bomb or two named after him...

This is the agreement they have reached at the company and they also reiterated that this is according to the company guidelines.

A wise decision. If they don't feed their polar bears properly, PETA will get on their asses in no time...


Owing to the fact that his daughter whom should have stood a better chance of claiming this fund, also perished in that fatal air crash,

'Twas a good day for the polar bears... “O she was fair, O dear, she was bonnie!

I want you to stand in as the next of kin to late Mr. Morris Thompson.

A grave so big one can stand in it? Damn those decadent rich people...

Like I earlier asserted,I have in my possession the necessary documents that will enable me to place you in,as the right beneficiary to my late client's fund in this firm.Be informed that upon successful transfer of this money into your account,you shall have 35% of it as your share.

A rather stingy offer. I wouldn't settle for less than 50% plus at least one polar bear.

I must remind you that trust and transparency must be our watchword in the course of this transaction.

I can recommend a few manufacturers of bulletproof glass if necessary...

I will discuss with you in details when I receive your response.

All in all, not a bad effort, but still far below the glory days of the 419 scam. It just isn't the same if there aren't any trunk boxes involved, and no poisoned cocoa merchants and widows of dead dictators of underdeveloped African countries. Nor is the English nearly as ridiculous as in the masterpieces of the genre.


Blogger Nadezhda said...

Do you read through all of your spam out of curiosity or is it some weird sort of self-punishment? :)

Friday, December 08, 2006 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger Nadezhda said...

spam e-mails that is :))

Friday, December 08, 2006 8:23:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

Yes, I do read through most of my spam. I enjoy it. It appeals to my sense of the bizarre. The Nigerian scams, such as this one here, are of course a class of their own, but even the plain simple things like the pr0n and stock hucksters often have a nearly poetic quality. There's often great stuff that was probably produced by a random process and is yet tantalizingly on the verge of actually meaning something. I like to think of spam as the 21st-century equivalent of Proust's madeleines :)

Sometimes one even receives true masterpieces such as the late, lamented Kathmandu Temple Kiff or the Time Traveller.

In short, spam is a vastly underappreciated genre. That's why I never understood why everyone complains about it so much. I like spam. E-mail spam, that is. It's at least ten times as interesting as the printed kind (or indeed the canned kind).

Friday, December 08, 2006 9:31:00 PM  
Blogger jin said...

Oh, you enjoy spam, do you? First time I hear of a person like that :) I usually delete them without thinking much about them. But I did get one very funny some time back: apparently from Chechen widow of some late big shot there. And yes, there were milions in play. Imagine what I could have bought with that if I replied :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

The one you received is another version of the well-known Nigerian-style advance fee fraud scam, just like the one I cited in my post above. Whenever there is an international situation of any sort that seems likely to produce widows, orphans, deceitful estate lawyers or other suitable characters, the scammers will not be slow to exploit it. Maryam Abacha is the most common protagonist, but the widow of every imaginable dictator, potentate, warlord, fictitious cocoa merchant, etc. will sooner or later make an appearance. There were even scams using Mira Marković and Suha Arafat.

If you want to read more about this hilarious and delightful genre of spam, I recommend the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Monday, December 11, 2006 7:08:00 PM  
Blogger jin said...

Man, what if I tried a scam like that? :)

Do you think they let you write blogs in jail?

Saturday, December 16, 2006 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

Man, what if I tried a scam like that? :)

Do you think they let you write blogs in jail?

No idea :) But then I'm not sure how likely it is that you'd end up in jail anyway. My impression from reading the various websites is that even when a victim of a scam tries to get the authorities to find, catch and prosecute the scammer, this is very unlikely to get any results. But maybe you should consider moving to Nigeria before starting your scamming career :)

Maybe one problem with the Nigerian scam is that it's too widespread and too well-known nowadays. The chances of finding a sufficiently naive (and wealthy) victim are probably much lower than five or ten years ago.

Perhaps you could consider baiting the scammers instead. Reply to their offers, pretend that you believe them and are interested, and see what sort of preposterous things you can get *them* to believe in, and what sort of ridiculous things you can get them to do for you.

Saturday, December 16, 2006 9:37:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

Dear Sir,

My nmae is Generalkomissar Jin, I have recently occupied myself in an undertaking aiming to organize a neocommunist uprising in a small developing country named Solvenia. Unfortunately, the plan failed due to an unforeseen outburst of the black plague and the jackbooted thugs of the evil prime minister are currently in the process of beating at my door,. I have some money left from the secret funds that had been ascertained to support the uprising, to the tune of $250,000,000.00 (TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION U.S. DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS), stored in two trunk boxes in a cave beneath Mount Peca and guarded by a ferocious sleeping 500-year-old man. I would hereby and theretofore request your assitance in helping me transfer the funds out of the country, which I am unable to do personally as the gorvernment is monitoring all my banking tansactions.. If you will help me smuggle them out of the country, I offer to share 25% of the sum withy ou, while a further 5% will be set aside to cover any unforeseen expenses and contingencies. I must reiterate that secrecy and urgency will be our watchword throughout this transaction, and I beg you to urgently communicate your particulars to me at my private and confidential e-mail address,

Saturday, December 16, 2006 9:52:00 PM  
Blogger jin said...

Yeah, lets start sending this around and see if we can get some American to fall for it. Or better a Brit :)

But maybe we should add some depresing tale about my ex wife, killed by the ruthless capitalist regime!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 8:37:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home