Almost hourly, I receive emails from Hong Kong, Nigeria or Quicksandistan that bring welcome news. I’ve won lotteries. Relatives of the email writers leave me millions. Dictators give me secret accounts. Yesterday, I deleted $67 million before I drained my morning coffee.
Some of my good-fortune emails say, “This is not a scam!” I find these words reassuring, because, as we know, the Internet is full of “vultures, vultures, everywhere, everywhere.” And to be perfectly frank, I would not feel comfortable cashing a check for $20 million, plus or minus, that might have come from victims of fraud.
Here is one recent example:
I hope this finds you perspiring under the benevolence of the god who bleeeses you in this litter.
I bare gude news, tho I am much in sorry. I am 23, and the father of 47 chilledwrens, each under tree.
My wif — how you say in America? — wants new career. She has flone da kup. She now reheats derivative leftovers in fast-food joint owned by Mr. Morgan and Mr. Stanley in New York City, Manhattan on the Wall Street, USA.
(PS. I am looking for new wif. I am gude provider and believe all women are ickwalls. Fine me wif, and I will make it werth your wiles.)
Do not pitty me by sending dollars to my address.
I write to you, my little pidgin, to say that heppy is for you.
You have won a $47 million lottery in my country, Beessia. We are poor in the cash, but rich in the imaginative arts. Our make-believe is second to nun.
I am very big lawyer in Beessia despite my yoot. We only have two lawyers here; the other is low-life pirate. We carry same first and last name because our parents were related and also same.
The money is U.S. dollars, not Beessers. It is in my trustworthy account, waiting for you to clam it. I will wire to your bank lickettysplitty as soon as you send me your name and account information. I need your bank numbers to keep honest records and avoid the snail male.
Also send the number of your social securities. This has nothing to do with self- confidence. I make joke. Ha. Ha.
This offer xpires today. But deadlines in Beessia are flexible.
Do not breeze a word to anyone, because it mite blow away like shaft in the win.
It is my honor to assist you in your Lady Luck. And best, do not pay me. Not even a 15 percent tipsy, which I would not turn down because I would not insult your generosity. Even though the Anguish Language is not my native tong, I do this for you out of the love we share for the pipples of our whirl.
Mr. Fleecie O’Spoofsky,
Doctor of Beessian Legal Laws
Like Americans everywhere, I am ever alert for Internet scams, but this one sounded as genuine as any I’ve read. So I responded in kind:
Have I got good news for you!!!!
I own the Big Rock Candy Mountain of 1,000 acres on paper and hundreds of thousands of acres in actual dirt.
The Candy was first stepped off in 613 A.D. by Chief Straightarrow who, as a licensed surveyor, used the prevailing Royal scale where 12 English inches equaled one native foot, expressed in linear moccasins. The Jamestown colony declared, however, that one moccasin was henceforth to be worth 10,000 Royal inches in the field, given inflation. Those Brits! Fleecie, there’s a whole lot more space in the Candy than meets the eye.
For reasons that are lost to history, the Chief never recorded title in our county courthouse. I now own it through an absolutely impeccable chain of unrecorded, very private deeds that are too complicated to go into. The first deed — where the Chief conveyed the Mountain to me in advance of my birth — carries his signature, which he wrote with an indelible purple Sharpie.
The bottom line: you too have won a lottery!!! I’m ready to make you the owner…but wait, let me tell you about the Candy. No one knows what I’m about to reveal.
The Mountain has virgin stands of redwoods, mahogany and long-leaf pine from Alabama that were hand planted by Noah himself just after he landed in the ark. This information is found in a taped oral-history interview with the Chief that I, personally, transferred to CD.
Two inches below the surface is a proven reserve of 15 million tons of pure gold, at least 165 carats. One foot below the gold, is 50 million tons of flawless diamonds. Below that is 16 billion barrels of the sweetest crude you’ll ever find. And below that, a great big cave where the world can store all the CO2 it will ever produce, along with hot nuclear fuel rods and any lingering virtues.
I have geologist reports based on core drillings that go back to Genesis. They document every ounce of mineral and every ounce of empty space, which weigh the same in case you’re counting.
Since you live in Beessia, I will handle all the paperwork and transaction costs. Remember this land is not carried on our county books, so you will never pay property tax. Lucky you.
I have had the Candy appraised 13 times in the last seven business days. Even in today’s depressed real-estate market, the lowest fair market valuation is $50 billion.
I will need a mere $50,000 in old $5 bills to make all the arrangements. Send this token of our friendship in a cardboard box. As soon as I get this money, I will send you the deed that gives you all the ownership I have acquired.
It is good that we are both as honest as a day is long in the Arctic winter.
When a buyer can acquire a $50 billion asset for only $50,000, he’s mighty shrewd.
I hope this correspondence proves that I’m no stick in the mud when it comes to Internet marketing.
I expect Fleecie’s payment will arrive in today’s mail, or tomorrow’s. Beessians are well-known for their bullish investing.
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