Recall my post on scams and the like.
Now, we all get those annoying scam emails, the ones from random people claiming to be from Africa, offering millions of dollars in return for an offshore bank account. Today, however, I got one that is simply too good to pass up.
I present to you Obi_1's cry: Don't worry, the Therapist is on his way.
(I apologize for the caps throughout. That's how it came.)
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 05:38:44 +0100
Subject: CRY FOR HELP
Notice the name. Hope_Obi_1. Obi_1, are you about to tell me you're my only hope? Moving on to the subject... do I really need to say anything, other than an obvious jab that yes, this truly is a cry for help?
PERMIT ME TO USE THIS MEDIUM TO EXPLAIN MY PROBLEM TO YOU IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHOM WE SERVE AND WHO IS THE GREATEST.
I always find introductions like this to these sorts of emails borderline blasphemous.
I WILL LIKE TO TELL YOU WHO I AM SO THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND AND COMPREHEND MY POINT CLEARLY.
Just to avoid any confusion... ;-)
I AM MISS HOPE OBI 23YRS,
Hello Ms. Hope Obi 23yrs.
I AM FROM BENIN REPUBLIC, THE ONLY CHILD OF LATE MR AND MRS OBI, MY FATHER WAS A VERY WEALTHY COCOA MERCHANT BASED IN PORTO-NOVO, THE ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF BENIN REPUBLIC BEFORE HE WAS POISONED TO DEATH BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ON ONE OF THEIR OUTING TO DISCUSS ON A BUSINESS DEAL.
Merely pointing out the bad grammar in this paragraph misses it's true potential. According to Fact Monster, the main export in Benin is palm oil. Because I have too much time on my hands, I also did a search for cocoa production in Benin and found that yes, there does seem to be some cocoa industry. However, it is small. Also, according to the World Fact Book, Benin is extremely poor, even poorer than most of its neighbours. It only does about $485 million a year in exports and the average household income is about $1,100. Also, it does not list cocoa at all, so the industry is probably very small.
But I have a question.
Why do I need to know that her father was poisoned to death by his business associates?
What sort of a business deal was it?
And why Africa?
Can't you be more creative?
Why does no one send scam emails from, I dunno, Tahiti?
WHEN MY MOTHER DIED ON THE 21ST OCTOBER 1986, MY FATHER TOOK ME SO SPECIAL
Are you sure you don't live in Utah?
BECAUSE I AM MOTHERLESS BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER ON 24TH NOVEMBER 2003 IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE IN PORTO-NOVO. HE SECRETLY CALLED ME ON HIS BEDSIDE
As he did most every night...
AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAS A SUM OF US$25,500,000 (TWENTY FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)
Just in case you can't read numbers, it's been spelled out.
DEPOSITED IN SECURITY COMPANY AS CONSIGNMENTS THERE IN EUROPE, THAT HE USED MY NAME AS HIS ONLY DAUGHTER FOR THE NEXT OF KIN IN DEPOSIT OF THE FUND.
So, it's in Europe already?
Perhaps this is related to his subsequent poisoning, Hope.
HE ALSO EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS WEALTH THAT HE WAS POISONED BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, THAT I SHOULD SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL TRANSFER THIS MONEY AND USE IT TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION AND ALSO FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE,(SUCH AS REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT).
How did I ever guess?
I'm tempted to ask the good Ms. Hope why she needs my help if the money is already in a bank account in Europe.
Ooh! ooh! Here comes my favorite part!
I AM HONOURABLY SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
1) YOUR FULL NAME
2) PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS
3) CONTACT ADDRESS
4) SCAN AND SEND YOUR INTERNETIONAL PASSPORT OR WORKING ID CARD
5) TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY TO FURTHER MY EDUCATION AND TO SECURE A RESIDENTIAL PERMIT FOR ME IN YOUR COUNTRY
Would an internetional passport be the required documentation for visiting websites in other countries?
(I crack me up.)
Gotta love this to-do list though. It's so easy to follow. If I were scamming somebody, this is the sort of list I would create. However, I would be inclined to add 6) DO NOT SHOW THIS EMAIL TO ANYONE, AS IT IS TOP-SECRET.
I love the last request. Secure a residential permit.
This is Canada.
Clearly you have no clue how slow our bureaucracy is if you think I can just secure you a permit at the drop of a hat.
MOREOVER, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT INPUT AFTER THE SUCCESSFULL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR NOMINATED ACCOUNT OVERSEA.
Let's see. You just gave me a to-do list and all you're willing to offer is 20% of the loot? Not a chance chump! I expect at least a 50-50 split.
Actually, seeing as you are willing to drop it into the account that I have opened up fro you, maybe I'll just take all of it.
PLEASE INDICATE YOUR WILLINGLESS TO HELP ME BY FORWARDING FOR ME THE FOLLOWING INFORMATIONS LISTED ABOVE FOR THE CHANGE OF THE BENEFICIARY TO YOUR FAVOUR.
But what if I'm not willing?
I HAVE DISCUSSED WITH MY LATE FATHERS LAWYER HERE IN BENIN REPUBLIC AND HE PROMISED TO ASSIST ME TO EFFECT THE ARRANGEMENTS.
Hold it, hold it, hold it!
You're Dad's lawyer is still alive?
What if he was involved in the poisoning?
PLEASE REPLY TO MY PERSONAL EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
LORD BE WITH YOU AS I AWAIT YOUR POSITIVE DECISION TO HELP.
I wonder what sort of success Obi 1 has with atheists?
ANTICIPATING HEARING FROM YOU SOON.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS.
MISS HOPE OBI.
Thus ends the Cry for Help. If I were to write her a response, I think I would dub myself Mrs. Wan-Kenobi. I could set her up with my mythical son Ben, who has some strange and wonderful powers.
I'm sure that'd be pushing it.