It never ceases to amaze me the scams that some people can come up with. And when the Internet came along, it was like fertilizing kudzu.
Today I got an email from Carol. Now when someone you don’t know addresses you by your first name and they don’t give a last name, be suspicious from the getgo. Chances are, you didn’t use to go skinny dipping together.
Here’s what I got verbatim:
“How are you doing? This has had to come in a hurry and it has left us in a devastating state. My family and I had a visit to (UK) for a short vacation unannounced some days back, but unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed by some thugs, all cash, cell phones and credit cards were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.
“The Embassy and Police have failed to be effective in this matter, besides paper work would cost us days we can’t afford and our flight leaves tomorrow but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the bills. Please, I really need your financial assistance. Let me know if you can help us out?
“I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Here’s what I emailed back:
“Hey Carol, I’m sorry you got stranded during your vacation abroad. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take a vacation this year because of the economy being so bad. My wife and I did drive down to St. Marks for the afternoon. The oyster po boy sandwich was excellent. By the way, can you tell me what kind of wine goes with a po boy? I wasn’t sure, so I had a Bud Light.
“You didn’t put your last name on your email so I’m assuming I’m talking to Carol Loudermilk from journalism class at Georgia State. It’s been a while, girl. By the way, how’s your brother Marvin? Did he ever get rid of that nasty infection he had?
“I’m not sure how much cash I can send you. I went to buy gas this morning and was so broke, I had to ride in on a turnip truck.
“If you get a chance, say hello to the Queen Mother for me. Also, ask her if she still has that ‘Billy Bass,’ thing – you know, the stuffed fish that sings.
“Y’all take care now, ya hear!
“Yours truly, Dwain.”
Yes indeed, this is a new twist added to that concept of “let’s sling some stuff against the wall and see how much sticks.”
Typically, I’m being asked to help someone smuggle cash out of foreign countries. This one, however, just comes right out and asks to send money.
Now, I’m not going to bet that no one will fall for this scam, given what some televangelists are able to pull off. By the way, what the heck is an “unannounced” vacation? Were they really trying to surprise the Queen Mother?
Apparently, Carol hasn’t seen that television commercial where you can get your stolen credit cards replaced within hours. And she also probably hasn’t seen the one with Bigfoot and the whoopie cushion. That has nothing to do with stealing and scamming, it’s just a very funny commercial.
Of course, I know that there’s no one named Carol stranded there as the email states. This email was probably mass produced in a basement somewhere in New Jersey. So far, this effort gets my vote for the lamest of scams, but the day isn’t over yet. Someone could try to sell me Jimmy Hoffa’s remains or a baby Sasquatch.
Or someone might even claim he’s found an honest politician and is trying to raise funds to take him on tour.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of the Moultrie Observer and can be reached at email@example.com.