26 Sep 2009

Hitching a ride on the gravy train.

So long suckers!

That's what my words of adieu will be once I receive my cheque for loads-a-money. To cut a long story short, I've had an exciting piece of news via my email.

Apparently someone with the last name as me has died and a very nice lawyer has contacted me to say that I'm due US$ 17.5 Million.

I know, I couldn't believe it either...

Right, I can't maintain this insufferable idiotic outlook on email scams. I was going to try to keep it up all the way through but instead, you'll have to deal with me being a grumpy bastard.

Who the fuck does this work on? Who actually thinks that some distant relative they had no previous knowledge of would remember them in a will? This deserves a cut and paste exercise in being incredulous:

I am Vincent Tay (Tay &Partners),an attorney at law in Malaysia.

A good start, sounds respectable. I normally get worried when people in the law contact me for seemingly no reason so it grabs my attention. Note the lack of space after the comma.

A deceased client of mine, who shares the same last name as yours, died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005.

So you don't actually use the name. I mean, I've got a pretty unusual last name but I imagine there are quite a lot of people in the world with it. What if it was a different person with the same last name as me? Wouldn't that be like stealing? Maybe you should ask some other people just in case. Or split the money. That would work.

His heart condition was due to the death of all then known members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake.

What do you mean? Were the rest of his family naturally producing an anti-oxidant aerosol which, him being deprived of has led to a major cardiac infarction?
Why have you linked Wikipedia? You're offering me $17.5 million and you want me to do some reading? Or is it just in case I had forgotten about the biggest natural disaster of my lifetime? I am confused and bewildered by this.

I can be reached on (barrvincenttay@sify.com) for more information. My late Client has a deposit of Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (US$17.5 Million Dollars) left behind.

Surely your late client had a deposit? Unless he is undead. In which case he might not want me taking his money. I'll be honest, I'm not sure I want a zombie hunting me down even for US$17.5 Million.

Suffice to say I didn't take this offer up. Although I did surprise myself the first time I read it. You see, the first thing that went through my head was 'US$17.5 Million! Sweet!'

What the fuck was that about? I'm a relatively intelligent person I'm also naturally skeptical (I still debate the existence of badgers). But in this instance my incredulity was overridden by avarice. My brain is hardwired to make me go 'ooooh, lovely money'. I suppose that's how these things work but for a split second I was no different from those mumbling morons that respond to the 'nice Nigerian chap who's having a bit of a rough time'.

So in answer to my first question these scams (even if it is fleetingly) work on us all because at heart, we are all money grubbing bastards that would sell our own grandmothers if, in return, we got a shed load of cash. Either that or I'm a money grubbing bastard that would sell his own grandmother for a shed load of cash.

Neither of those options do I find appealing.


  1. It works on roughly... 0.000001% of recipients.

    But hey, considering there are over a billion email users and sending spam is basically free...

  2. But the thing I've always wondered is what happens when you reply? I figure that probably doesn't happen that much- so do they get your email and just sit there for a bit going, "Really?"

  3. Would anybody like to buy a grandmother?
    1 careful owner, matured, likes knitting and watching Poirot.
    Will cook for food.

    If you're interested, email me at grandmascam@uvbeenhad.com

  4. I generally get around one of these emails a week and much like California often wonder what would happen if I replied...I also wonder what if someone, somewhere in the world genuinely sent an email on to contact a relative about money being left to them, no one would ever believe them, they would miss out on a lot of money due to these silly fake emails...which makes me giggle.

  5. if only they were true, i could be a millionaire too. i received a lot of emails from "UK Lottery" every month which is obviously a fraud.

    i dont even bet in our own lottery here.

  6. Wait, hold on. You're saying that the guy I gave me bank details to won't be depositing millions of dollars into my account?

    I think some more souls get sucked in because they are desperate, and when we are we see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe.

  7. Excuse me, but, coming from a billionaire who just scored $75.2 million from Tamil Oobanakook of Nigerian Securities, Ltd., I think you're just jealous.

    Now, excuse me while I try to purchase a copy of "The Philadelphia Inquirer" with a check.