Let us face it: Internet scams are now a part of our life

You know, when I wrote this column (about eight years ago), folks were really, really just getting into e-mail. And, when I say ‘folks? I mean everybody: teacher, student, business types, government types, church types, everybody. It was also the start of a new scam that was faxed, before.
And, do you know what? We still get these scam e-mails every day. They start out, ‘Dear Loved One? or ‘Dear One in Christ? or some other such malarky. My first instinct is to ask, ‘With all the publicity about these scams over the years, do they still work??
Logical thinking, leads me to answer myself (quietly and discretely so nobody sees me talking to myself). ‘Yes, these scams still work, because they are still out there.?
We are so gullible as a tribe. I think a column on critical thinking is in the making for the future. But I digress. If you or anybody you know who spends too much time on-line, send this column to them to read.
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Call me kooky, but I am either just really cynical or I’m stupid and have blown countless opportunities to make millions.
Since I don’t believe I’m a cynical old fart, I must be stupid. At this very moment, if only I had acted, my family could have been set for life. We could be living large in a big house with a cement pond out back. I reckon if I wait around long enough, and answer enough faxes here at work, I’ll have another opportunity to make my millions.
I’ll have to watch that work fax machine like a hawk, lest some fellow worker swipe the fax and its millions in US cash out from under my feet. What am I talking about?
Let me tell you. Two or three times a year we get these faxes, faxes from wealthy men in Africa. The amount of letters we receive from rich African men would lead me to believe they could help their continent’s debt problem, if only they acted. Alas, they’re trying to get the cash out of Dodge.
Here’s an example of the latest letter:
‘I want you to patiently read this offer. I am Prof. Paul Azika the special assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources in Nigeria. I am the linkman between the Organization For Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in Nigeria.
‘Through the sale of our allocated oil quota in OPEC, I was able to make US $22.2 million, which is currently deposited in a European Security and Finance company. I want you to assist me to claim this money as I cannot claim it directly because I am still a civil servant, and the code of conduct bureau forbids me to acquire such an amount of money.
‘It is on this basis that I am contacting you for assistance. If you will be interested, all you will do is to travel to the European nation after all official claim documents have been processed and sent to you. The documents with which the fund is deposited will be changed to reflect you as the new beneficiary so that you will be eligible to collect the fund on my behalf.
‘I will give you 20% of the fund for this assistance. I am aware of the international monitoring of all large-scale financial movements after the September 11th terrorist attack on America and to avoid any state of financial investigation I will provide a classified clearance paper from the relevant body which will exonerate the money from either drug, money laundered or terrorist related proceeds.
‘Kindly respond to my proposal through this e-mail: ______ or Efax number_____. on the receipt of your mail indicating interest I will provide you with my phone and fax numbers for further correspondence. I want to assure you that there is no risk attached in this transaction. You should also try to provide me your own personal telephone and fax numbers. Expecting your response.
Best regards,
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Maybe I really am a cynical old fart, ‘cuz that’s just too good to be true. How can I say it nicely? FOR GOD’S SAKE PEOPLE IT’S A FRACKIN? SCHMACKIN? SCAM!
If we’re getting these scam letters, so are other businesses. And, hard as it may to believe, gullible businessmen right here in our state have fallen prey. They have believed the letter, sent money, their bank account numbers, etc., banking on easy money only to be scammed out of thousands (sometimes more) of dollars.
Can you help stop these scammers? You can call the FBI (248-879-6090 in Oakland County), but they’ll tell you to call the US Secret Service in Detroit (313-226-6400), as they did me, when I called.
Is this one way terrorist organizations bulk up their war chests? Or is it just an old fashioned flimflam? Don’t know, but I am sure the gals and guys at the Secret Service office would like to see those letters. Fax the scam letters to them at 313-226-3952.
What say you?

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