Where E-mail Scammers Go When They Die

Today, I was saddened (and, I won’t lie) a bit thrilled to learn that I had inherited 10 million dollars because some relative in Nigeria had met his/her end. I didn’t know anyone in my family lived in Nigeria, or even that someone in my family had 10 million to bestow on me, an unknown, but clearly favored, relative. I’m not even certain if my relative was a man or a woman, but the nice payout authority of the Central Bank of Nigeria is anxious to hear from me.

I was touched.  No one has sent me an “old school” Nigerian scam in so very long.

It made me a bit nostalgic about the old days of the internet, just a few short years ago, when all the scammers were Nigerian, and all they wanted to do was give me money.  It was a simpler time.

In those days, I only had one e-mail address, and only one password.

Now, just like snail mail,  I get more junk e-mail than mail I care about, and my inbox is filled with people who want to enhance body parts I don’t even have, or emergencies regarding bank accounts I don’t have.

Sometimes, they use my name, as if they are some long-lost friend contacting me, out of the blue.  I won’t tell them that no one except bill collectors calls me “Kathryn.”

Yes, okay, you caught me.  Sometimes my mom uses that name when I’m in trouble. But, she usually doesn’t bother with e-mail. She just calls.

I have occasionally been tempted by the foreign language programs that promise I will speak any language in a matter of weeks , for a mere $100, plus shipping and handling. Really a bargain, but, I admit to being skeptical. It might be because they spelled foreign “fouregn.”

Sure, it’s easy to pick on their spelling, and use them as a cheap joke.  I’m not even going to apologize for getting a laugh at their expense,  unless, of course, I failed to actually get a laugh. In that case , it’s just embarrassing.

In addition to creative spelling and grammar, I also admit to getting really good chuckles out of “internet security” offers, since I wonder if they protect me from people like them. Honestly? If they really cared about my security, they’d stop sending me unwanted spam.

If Dante had been around in this century, I suspect that he’d have created one more special hell for those who try to steal money from people via e-mail scams.  Maybe there’d be room for them in the one for child molesters and people who answer their cell phones in the movie theater.  If anyone deserves to have their movies interrupted, it’s those people.

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