Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scams and spam (cont'd)

We're all familiar with the so-called 419 scams that promise us great riches for helping to launder some preposterous fortune. Some of the originators try quite hard with the email, but Mr Conde Sanko doesn't appear to be that bothered. First of all, he addresses me as "Dear Sincerely" - a mistake which may be designed to present the image of a hapless naif, but actually confirms fairly early on that he's someone I wouldn't trust with the disposal of $11 million.

"I got your e-mail contact through my search as a reliable person," he continues, before informing me that he wants to invest in my "country/firm". I like the idea that UK plc might benefit from the investment strategy proposed in the email. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I'm empowered to negotiate on behalf of the government.

Meanwhile, a strange message arrives from Friends Reunited. The subject header is: "Greg, Discover the Heinkel Family History". It's a plug for their sister site Genes Reunited, through which you can trace your long-lost second cousin. twice removed. Although Greg is one step on from Sincerely, we're still not scoring highly on the salutation stakes. And I already know the Heinkels very well. They made bombers for the Luftwaffe during World War II. As a kid in the 70s, I didn't know much about fancy websites and misplaced email. But I did read a lot of comics where Nazis got blasted.

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