Sunday, October 15, 2006

Internet Email Scams

Now I don’t normally read e-mail scams. Sometimes I do, whether I was deceived by a misleading subject line, one entered my in-box while I was going through my e-mail, or even that the subject line was cleverly written. (I do know people who respond with things like counter-offers, marriage proposals, and the like.)

But the following e-mail scam message was somewhat interesting:

MR.Alan Willisc
14, Cameroon House, Wyndham Road,

Camber well, S.E. 5 OUJ. London UK.

I Am MR. Alan Willis a British Citizen And I Am 43yrs Of Age, I Am Married With Three Children, I Work With One Of The leading Bank Here In Lodon Uk.

I Am The Manager/Accounting Officer Of Mr. Brian Wright who Died On The Recent Bomb Blast, Which Occurred In London On the 7th Of July 2005.

Mr. Brian Long was National Of Your Country And An Expatriate With British House Of Common, He Was Our Client with Account Number UBS 101-720-4 Has Left The Sum Of (Five Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars) ($ 5,500.000.00) Which He Deposited With Us Before His Untimely Death. Before His Death He Was A Contractor With The British House Of Common

I Have Tried To Locate His Relative After His Death But Could Not; I There Fore Seek For Your Consent And Assistance To Stand As His Next Of kin So That His Money Be Transferred To Your Account Since I Could Not Locate Any Of His Relative. For Your Assistance You Will Receive 40% Of the Fund My Colleague And I Will Have 60%.

If You Are Interested In This Transaction I Will Like You To Contact Me As Soon As Possible So That I Will Give You More Information On How It will Be Done.

Treat With Utmost Confidentiality.

Yours sincerely,
MR.Alan Willis

Now there is this “common denominator” aspect to these e-mails—the bad grammar, spelling mistakes, and the like. Allegedly these missives are sent by “doctors and lawyers and such,” yet they cannot spell—or even consistently write their name?

This one adds that special touch: “I Am 43yrs Of Age, I Am Married With Three Children.” Is the author more believable because I know his age and family? I don’t think so.

But what really struck me was the alleged “victim.” In this case the unfortunate soul was killed “on [sic] the recent bomb blast, which occurred in London on the 7th of July 2005.” I believe this was the subway/bus blasts.

You see, there have been terrorist attacks even before 9/11. And these e-mail scams have been around even longer. But this was the first that I have seen anyway that directly tied the “deceased” to a specific terrorist attack. Most have been airplane crashes, some car accidents, but I haven’t read any that were about a victim of a terrorist attack. That doesn’t mean I didn’t receive one—I immediately delete many, many e-mails that appear to be the scam e-mails.
So, there you have it. Now the unfortunate national tragedies are fodder for these e-mail artists. I’m surprised that no victims of 9/11 were found to be without heirs and a wide ‘net is cast to find a survivor—or someone willing to be a “survivor.”

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