Sunday, July 16, 2006

Email Scams

We all get them.

But the one I got today really annoyed me. Here's part of the text.
Am Hamed Fareed, a merchant in Cuba,I am suffering from esophageal Cancer that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all form of medicine and right now, I have only about a few months to live according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business.

My uncle died of esophageal cancer a few years ago. So did Bernhand Bernhand, Jr of Portugal in 2002 and Barukh Mellamed of Iran in 2004. However, although my uncle didn't make any money off his own death, he did have his loving family with him, so he wins.

The reason it annoyed me was that, although the moment I saw it on my list I knew it was a scam, I started to actually feel bad for the guy as I read it.

Not everyone knows these are scams or how to find out if they are. I know someone who fell for one a few years ago. It involved receiving $50,000 in what turned out to be stolen checks from overseas, the FBI, and restitution to the bank for money which this person didn't have. It was a mess. But desperate people will sometimes do desperate things.

Including the very scammers themselves.

The Nigerian-type scams are called 419s, after the Nigerian criminal code which lists such scams in section 419. However, the scam emails don't just come from Nigeria.

Usually I just delete them after enjoying their bad grammar and spelling and googling them to see the variations. But this one almost made me upset enough to want to respond somehow. I don't advocate responding in any way, but there is a group that sometimes does, and I am pleased to have my feelings of striking back satisfied by reading about their exploits in scamming the scammers.

The website is 419eater, where there are many stories and pictures of scammers doing ridiculous things. There's even a section of badly photoshopped pictures of the scammers trying to scam the scammer scammers!

I feel better.

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
Join | List | Previous | Next | Random | Previous 5 | Next 5 | Skip Previous | Skip Next