My fame is global and my reputation is impeccable, if my inbox is any indicator. Each day, lonely women plead with me to meet them and make their lives complete. Former ministers of distant lands beg for my aid in reconnecting them to their fortunes. Brokers offer me unique investment opportunities guaranteed to deliver 100,000,000,000,000% returns.
And drugs. All kinds of drugs. Drugs for arthritis, ear warts, toe cancer, knuckle nodules, and the always popular erectile dysfunction. It's amazing that Walgreens is still in business when all this top-quality product is available for nearly $zero on the internet.
And every time I read one of these e-mails, the same question comes to mind. Who ARE these people? I’m not asking about the people sending the e-mails. I’m talking about the idiots who respond to this stuff.
All this spam would disappear if it didn't make money for someone. Which means, of course, that somebody just got a message with the headline, "Hapy Birtday from a Freind," and opened the email to find an offer for low-cost V*I*A*G*A*R*A*. And this same somebody said to himself:
"Hah, look at that. It's not a birthday card after all. They tricked me into looking at this ad for medicines they can't even spell......But, wow, look at those prices. Where's my Visa????"
Before there was an internet, I received 2-3 handwritten letters each year, on onionskin paper, via international air mail, with a return address of.....yep, Nigeria. The sender was the former minister of mining or a widow whose husband was killed by an evil cabal or...didn't matter, really. They were all the same.
They were desperate to reclaim their lost fortunes and, of all the millions of people in the United States, I was the one they were counting on to rescue them. If only I would show them I was truly trutwothy, sinsere and finacialy reponsible. It was quite a burden for me to shoulder, but that's why they knew I was the only one for the job.
"I am the former mining director/ exiled president/secretary of the ministry/Yasser Arafat’s widow (really) and I must call upon you in a mater of grate urgency and discreetion...."
Ah, classic literature. Decades go by, but the text is eternal, along with the misspellings. Are the misspellings a part of the plan, placed intentionally to seem more sincere? Perhaps they want to target people who see the errors and assume the senders are not very bright, or maybe they’re targeting people who won’t catch the typos at all.
So who is it that thinks Yasser Arafat's widow is really searching the globe and landing on them? Yeah, Columbus made a wrong turn, too, but let's get real. If this had ever happened, ever, we would have heard about it by now.
As it is, I’ve never even heard an urban myth about it. You know, the urban myth where a friend of a friend of mine has a $50 million house he bought with his share of the Nigerian gold mine money. Most urban myths concern events that never really happened. If there isn’t even an urban myth, then it really, really never happened.
And yet, the emails keep pouring in to my spam folder. Somebody must be responding to these scams, but who are these idiots?
(P.S.: If you’re reading this and you have actually fallen for one of these come-ons, I apologize for calling you an idiot. I would like to make it up to you by letting you in on a unique investment opportunity designed specifically for you. It's guaranteed to deliver 100,000,000,000,000% on your money, as soon as we can get it out of Azkaban.)
Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.