Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Reply

Isa Hassan wrote:

My name is Isa Hassan, A Bahrain national I have been diagnosed with
Oesophageal cancer .It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and
right now I have only about a few months to live, according tomedical
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as Inever really cared for
anyone(not even myself)but my business. ThoughI am very rich, I was
never generous, I was always hostile to peopleand only focused on my
business as that was the only thing I cared for.But now I regret all this as
I now know that there is more to lifethan just wanting to have or make all
the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come
to this world Iwould live my life a different way from how I have lived it.
Now thatGod has called me, I have willed and given most of my property
andassets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a fewclose
friends .I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, Ihave
decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this tobe one of
the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have Distributedmoney to some
charity organizations
in the U.A.E, Somalia and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so
badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my
family to close one ofmy accounts and distribute the money which I have
there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and
kept the moneyto themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore,as they seem
not tobe contended with what I have leftfor them. The
last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of Eighteen
Million dollars($18,000,000,00) that I have with a finance House
I will want you to help me collect this deposit and despatch it to charity
N/B:KINDLY NOTE THAT 20% of this funds mustgo to the tsunami victims and
another 10% for your effort andtime.
Isa Hassan

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My dearest Isa,

How saddened I am to hear of your illness, and how inspiring your story. You must have had a great deal of time to think it out, as well as to hone your English language skills, and to search the Internet for a person you deemed worthy of helping you.

Alas, and unfortunately, it is all too late. You see, dearest Isa, there are many fools in the world. Many persons who are willing to let themselves be hoodwinked by a sad story, if at the end of it there comes the mention of a large sum of money. In my opinion, dear Isa, it is proof that IQ is measured by much more than the ability to calculate; if so, my daring love, there would not be so many persons who are bright enough to calculate that 10% of eighteen million dollars is a great deal of money, and foolish enough to believe the rest of your tall tale.

But sadly, darling Isa, I must inform you that I am not one of them. Even if I were the slightest bit inclined to take your letter purely on faith, the dramatic exposé of Nigerian sob story scams that made its debut in the New Yorker last month would have clued me in. Expect a downturn in business. I recommend switching careers; furniture construction and repair might be an appealing occupation.


the Lady


dlkjdfsa said...

Two years ago I got a spam like this. It was a Nigerian who wanted two of my paintings. He also wanted me to order two lap tops for him and ship them all in one box. He was "sending me" a cashers check for 8K. I was to send him the package and wire him a money order for his due balance. I toyed with this dumb fuck for a month and a half. We had dozens of emails and phone conversations. I received my check for 8K and took it to my bank and asked them to do a verification on it. Tooo my shock it was fake, :0. Finally I told him I received the check and sent his package. Then I sent his "balance" western union. The sum was one US dollar. He called me to say that he got my money order but the sum was wrong. I said, "I know your a con artist, how does it feel to be had? Do you think I am too stupid to figure your con" He said, "No, you're too white!"

For my efforts I was able to keep the 8K check as a souvenir. Don't mess with a Slayer, we bite.

The Aardvark said...

That was so HOT!

Well played, my dear PL!

Go here:
for a screamingly funny way of handling it.

Your devoted Aardvark

Morgan said...

You would be surprised at the number of people who do fall for these 419 scams.

I spent some time for Googling for a wire story we ran on 419 victims a month or so ago. You'd be surprised that it's not just the uneducated naive but some educated and well-to-do people who fall prey to these Nigerian scams.

I couldn't find the particular story I was looking for, but here's a good piece from the New Yorker:

There's also a message board for scam victims with some interesting comments on how they got taken:

I do not understand how anyone can fall for these scams but PL is right. If just a fraction of the people who receive these emails respond then that's a nice payday for these crooks.

prettylady said...

Boys, AWESOME! You dears have so much more patience than I. The Creative Con Wars: they shall write sagas about you...sagas...

prettylady said...

Oh, and welcome, Morgan! The New Yorker piece was the one I reference in my response--how a psychologist convinced himself it was real...the human mind is an extraordinary thing.

The Aardvark said...

My business has been conned-at least an attempt was made- via a relay phone call scam. Very similar to the Nigerian email scam, but using TTY operators as go-betweens. The operator relays info between parties, and sets up email or other contact. (The operator is a tool in this, and is not one of the artistes.)
Turns out this Nigerian (!) company wanted to purchase 2000 unprinted white tee shirts from us, and would pay by credit card. Whilst awaiting their email, I checked with my shirt distributor rep, as my inwards were going uh-uh, uh-UH, UH-UH!! He told me that it was in fact a scam making the rounds. While I am not ordinarily an Obi-Wan "Trust your feelings" sort- often the feeling is from one too many cups of coffee- there is a particular sort that I have learned to heed. Call it the Holy Spirit, or the Gift of Suspicion, whatever, I have learnt to ignore it at my peril.
Here is the Snopes article detailing this iteration of the Nigerian scam:

Morgan said...

"Oh, and welcome, Morgan! The New Yorker piece was the one I reference in my response--how a psychologist convinced himself it was real...the human mind is an extraordinary thing."

There's another one that moved on the NYT wires some time back. A museum curator was taken for thousands. It is truly amazing that seemingly smart people get taken. And sorry about the flaw in my post. I'd meant to write "here's *that* good piece from the New Yorker" in case people wanted the link.

And you're right about the psychotherapist in the article. People can convince themselves of anything if they want it to be true. But that can be costly.

Hal said...

I too received this potentially lucrative and benevolent bequest, however, my journalistic tendencies led me to your post and others. How do people live with themselves? Is there an iota of sincerity left in the world? Sigh…

It seems scorched earth policies have trickled down to the very moral fiber of humankind.

Memento Mori, I suppose.

Morris said...

"It is truly amazing that seemingly smart people get taken."

Unfortunately, even usually very smart people can let their greed overcome their good sense. I say that because I nearly got taken for that very reason - none of us are exempt from temptation..
In the end good sense prevailed.

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