Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Hello, Kindly advise if your company has the license or capability to execute a mutil million contract supply project for the Government of Iraq. kindly furnish me your response. Thank you and treat very urgent. Looking forward to an early response. Ali Hassan. (Text of an email received twice in four minutes.)
Ooh! Ooh!  Me! I want the mutil (sic) million contract with the Government of Iraq.
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Helpdesk Support. (Text of an email received at least once a day for the past month.)
Oh no! Here’s my password and social security number!  Please don’t turn my email off!  
It’s a sad state of affairs when the scam artists get so lazy they can’t come up with anything original. I want to tell Ali Hassan that I now understand why his country is in such a sad state. If Ali is the best swindler that Iraq has to offer, there’s little hope for the country.
A couple of months ago, I received a message from Irina L, who sent along a photo of herself in a very skimpy outfit. Irina was 22 years old and, to put it succinctly, comely and possibly surgically enhanced. She was writing from her Ukrainian village because my friend Joe (everyone has a friend named Joe) had given her my name and email address. My friend Joe thought I was just the man to help Irina out of a bind.  
Irina, it seems, had done all that was necessary to come to America.  Her papers were in order, and she’d purchased a one-way airline ticket to get to New York.  But the situation in her country had gone from bad to worse, and now the airlines wanted another $500. Could I help?  
I wrote back to Irina asking for more info. What kind of visa did she have? Tourist, student? Was she asking for refugee status? Irina said she had a green card visa—something I wasn’t familiar with—that would enable her to apply for immigrant status shortly after her arrival in the US. And then I noticed Irina’s mail seemed to be coming from an NGA IP address. Hmmm. How had Irina traveled so quickly from the Ukraine to Nigeria? Was it possible that Irina was actually a Nigerian scammer?  No, really? How disappointing.
I wrote Irina an accusatory email, basically telling her/him to get stuffed, although I used a different word.
Irina’s offended response the next morning read: Dear Thierry, Please stop all commubnicating (sic) with me. You are not a very nice man.
I’m crushed.

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