A La Bythelbs

You know how Bythelbs does those posts about those emails that she-  What?  You don’t read Bythelbs?  Why the heck not?  You should you know.  Go ahead click on the link, I’ll be right here.  No really, I’ll wait.

Back?   Ok now, so you probably didn’t see one because it’s been a while since she’s done one but she occasionally does these posts about these misdirected or phishing email that she gets and they crack me up because… Well, because they’re really funny.

Anyway, I thought I never got those kinds of emails because I never see them because like 90% of the rest of the world I have a yahoo email account and like 20% of the rest of the world I actually use mine.  (Emailing with a company that has millions of costumers means that they see billions of spam emails so their spam filters are actually quite good.)  But I checked another email account that I have the other day and I found a few gems.

The first is, I think, a pretty basic phishing scam but I find it fascinating because I don’t see them that often.  Here it is:

Tell: +27 73 313 35 72
ATTENTION: Sir/Madam
I write, asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds to tune of Twelve Million,
Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$12.8m) which we want to keep safely
overseas under your supervision.
In other words, we would like you to receive the said funds on our behalf. The Funds
were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and
presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors,
leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principle obtained
approval to remit overseas.
Kindly pardon the use of a medium informal as this for reaching out to you to make a
request of great importance to us.
Currently, I work as a Director of Projects at the Department of Minerals & Energy here
in Pretoria . I have the authority and approval of my partners involved in this
transaction to negotiate a suitable compensation for your participation and I propose
22.2 percent, while we also propose that we receive 46.6 percent and 31.2 percent be
earmarked for purposes of taxation.
This endeavor has a minimal risk factor on your part provided you treat it with the
utmost discretion. You are advised to reach me through email or you can contact me on my
number for further clarifications. (solomon.zuma@executivemail.co.za)
I am available for further clarification.
I kindly wait to hear from you.
Yours Sincerely,
Solomon Zuma

I just love that they don’t know whether I’m a sir or a madam but they trust me to keep almost 13 million dollars under my supervision.  I’m a big fan of the random sprinkling of corporate and official sounding words “The Funds were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principle obtained approval to remit overseas.” What does that even mean? And then there’s the generic African sounding name.  Altogether priceless.

It may be heartless of me to ask but who falls for these things?  Who reads this and thinks Oh my goodness, this poor guy, he really sounds like he needs my help. And then starts sending money?

The second email that I got actually gave me pause for a minute.  The first thing that caught my attention was that is showed as being from Chris Oldboyfriend.  (No, not that old boy friend.)  For a minute I was actually really excited to read it because I haven’t heard from him in a long time. (Mostly due to my own lazyness but let’s not go into that ok?) But then I started reading the email.  Here it is:

Hello,
How are you today ? I am sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling for a program called Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, and Lack of Education. The program took place in three countries in Europe which are Scotland, Ireland and England.  I am presently in England. I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money, and other valuables were kept. I will like you to assist me with a soft loan urgently. The total sum of money that i would need would be $2,800US Dollars to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home. I will appreciate whatever you can afford, i’ll pay you back as soonas i return,Let me know if you can assist me so that i can send you the details to use when sending the money through western union money transfer.

NB :Let me know if you would be able to help me out and lend me the money ?

Regards ,

Chris .

Ok so, first of all this is a guy I haven’t talked to in probably at least 5 years.  Why on earth would he have informed me of his travel plans?  Secondly, who writes a friend and asks for a “soft loan”?  I know that that’s what a loan of a “small” amount of money is called (I think) and that’s great if you’re talking about corporate petty cash or something but “Hey buddy, can you help me out with a soft loan?”  that just doesn’t sound all that-  actually, it’s growing on me.  Next time I need to borrow a couple bucks I might just try it out.

But the biggest thing that convinced me that there was now way that this email was actually from Chris Oldboyfriend was the closing.  Regards.  Regards?! This is a guy that at one time I thought I was going to marry.  He’s a guy that I still love, that I will always love (because you never really ever completely stop loving someone that you loved once do you?)  and I get a “regards”?! Even if I did think it was actually from him I wouldn’t have sent him any money just for that.

But I have a lot of respect for his trying to stamp out Rascism, HIV/AIDS, and Lack of Education.  Now that’s ambition.

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristina
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 23:07:21

    My old coworker TOTALLY fell for one of those Nigerian scams. He said that he had to get to the bank before it closed, and Western Union caught him before his transferred the money. I know it’s not funny, but it was HILARIOUS! I didn’t really like him.

  2. Melanie J
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 23:17:42

    I’d like to find these people and punch them in the face for forcing me to take the extra step of cleaning out my junk mail box on a more regular basis.

    But I’m not bitter.

  3. heather
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 23:28:09

    I haven’t laughed this hard in years!!! Thanks!

  4. cheryl
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 23:33:56

    This is totally Bythelbs worthy, Alison! Well, at least to me it is… 😉

    Yeah, emails like this are lame. Wouldn’t they be better off spending their time actually…ummm… WORKING to get money instead? Well, I guess pushing Copy/Paste isn’t hard work, and if just one person is gullible enough?? Bling, bling baby!

  5. Evitafjord
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 23:51:18

    Bythelbs is kind of how I got here. I was totally going to blog about that today, the small world of blogging and how I started out reading mad WAY back years ago on Xanga (I know, Xanga, right?) and then she introduced her sister and I started reading her stuff off and on and saw you there, but didn’t think much of it. But then, through Facebook, I came across the blog of someone from high school and her sister (Annie) and there you were again, so I was like, I should look into her blog too. And then when Annie posted about that one romance blog, I read that and some of her regular blog too and then another friend I actually know blogged about something that Sue wrote too, which I had actually read. Anyway, I just blogged in your comments. Crap.

    I just said crap in your comments too. Sorry.

  6. mary
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 01:54:22

    WHAT THE?! Solomon promised ME her millions!!! Something’s not right.

    I was going to do a post about this too; can I still?

  7. LisAway
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 02:10:45

    Do 90% of the world really have Yahoo accounts?

    Gmail’s spam filter is better.

    Just kidding, I have no idea, but I do like gmail and consider anyone who doesn’t use it slightly behind the times.

    If I was going as someone for a soft loan of three thousand dollars, I would definitely leave out any reminder of how we know/why we like each other in the message. Strictly business.

  8. julie
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 08:52:03

    I delete these with out ever reading them…

    Thanks for the PIE night example….many people loved it and may try it now in my ward. 🙂

  9. bythelbs
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 09:45:09

    Julie–You’re really missing out by not reading before you delete. They aren’t all super-entertaining, but every once in a while you come across a masterpiece.

    “Who falls for this?” This is what I think every time I read one of these, but obviously someone does or they wouldn’t continue to send them. It scares me how many idiots, er, pathetically gullible people, er, sweet trusting people, are out in the world.

  10. E
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 16:39:40

    I never click on them because someone told me that if you open them they know that they have a good email account and then you’ll get even more. I don’t know if it’s true but it does save time. I can’t read blogs AND scammer emails every day or the laundry would never get done.

  11. madhousewife
    Nov 21, 2008 @ 17:03:34

    You should totally respond to that second e-mail as if it really is Chris Oldboyfriend. Let him have it with the “‘Sof loan’??? ‘Regards’??? Are you effing kidding me???” And then what if it does turn out to be him? That would be logical awesome.

  12. Lobbie/Laurel/Happy Laughter
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 00:39:51

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Your website! Wee-ha! I’m am very glad I got to set next to you, and I’m not just saying that as an obligatory nicety. I mean, we had the sharing side of the table!

    As for these Emails…I don’t know who’s Emailing you, but I get Emails from African ROYALTY! I guess I’m just so high-class that they knew they could count on me.

  13. Kristina
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 01:19:14

    I’m so glad you came tonight! It was so great to meet you. I wish I could have spent more time with you all, and chatted more, but you are delightful! Thanks for tasting the chacon.

  14. GrumpyAngel
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 02:02:25

    I saw a documentary about these scams not too long ago. The sad thing is that people with real jobs and families and lives actually fall for these things. I think this scammers will burn in heck someday 🙂 I have a google account and occasionally I check my junk mail (is that weird) and there are e-mails from people who want to share their mega-million inheritance with me if I loan them money for a plane ticket so they can go claim it or somehting whacky like that 🙂
    BTW I came over to let you know I will be on blog-cation and will not be able to visit and comment for awhile. I will miss your posts but I will be back. Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

  15. Jo
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 11:44:28

    I found you! Whoo hoo! I know, I don’t get how stupid people are either. I just wonder what I don’t see in my own life, where people say, how could she be so stupid? Expect for the teenagers, that part I get, where I was stupid. They were soooo cute when they were little.

  16. Julie
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 17:54:58

    How does this happen?? I don’t get how people can actually fall for things like that.

  17. robyn
    Nov 22, 2008 @ 20:02:43

    heh. I got one tonight from some guy in Dubai. If, I would just cooperate, I’d get a return on investment to the tune of 17 million dollars. Wow. Should I consider it?

  18. Lisa
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 02:04:29

    Okay, I have to comment on this one (Hi, Al!) because said high school boyfriend is turning 30 today. I may as well live on the moon – I’ve been home quite a few times and never manage to see this old boyfriend of yours, and very close friend of mine. Hmm. I definitely share your “I”m not calling if I don’t have anything to say” mentality.

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