Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Good Con

From The Last Match by David Dodge:
I am in prison, sentenced for bankruptcy, and I wish to know if you are willing to help me save the sum of $285,000 U.S. Cy, which I have in bank bills hidden in a secret compartment of a trunk that is now deposited in a customhouse in the United States.

As soon as I send you some undeniable evidence, it will be necessary for you to come here and pay the small expenses incurred in connection with my legal process so the embargo on my suitcases will be lifted.
Curly, the protagonist of Match, comments on this scam:
Too obviously a con? It’s been worked successfully for over a century, and it will go on working successfully as long as there people around who are venal, greedy and dumb.
So I’m checking BEAT to a PULP’s submissions, deciding if I should or shouldn’t accept a horror story from S. King, when I read this in my junk mail:
Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire.

My Dear,
I am Miss Cellina --, from Ivory Coast, I need your honest assistance to transfer Usd$9Million Dollars from here. Please reply with your direct phone number if interested. I await your quick reply and i will give you the full details.
That gave me a chuckle. Curly and P.T. Barnum was right--a sucker is born every minute if this con or a variation is obviously still working.

22 comments:

Scott Parker said...

Are you freaking serious about "S. King"? If so, David, you have done a remarkable job in just under a year breaking open the pulp literary world. Way to go!

And now, The Last Match has just moved up on my summer TBR list.

David Cranmer said...

Yeah, his name is Silas King outta Wichita... (ok bad joke and I apologize)

Randy Johnson said...

Yes, people fall for these dodges all the time. All variations. The judges lately seem to be filled with people cashing fake checks, sending a "portion" of the money to an address, and then cring foul when the check bounces.
I don;t see how people get sucked into this junk, but they do.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It's one of the early signs of Alzheimers. Sending small checks off to everyone who asks. So I think these requests are playing on that. Sadly.

David Cranmer said...

Randy, I'm truly amazed because it's so obviously a charlatan out to get your wallet.

Patti, Sadly I didn’t consider that and someone in my family has the start of dementia and I can see where she would be suckered in.

ca nadeau said...
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ca nadeau said...

Dammit! I was 2 seconds away from helping that poor man!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Human greed is only outweighed by human stupidity.

Don Ward said...

It seems like if someone needed to transfer nine million big ones they would have plenty of friends to help and wouldn't have to solicit anonymous help.

David Cranmer said...

ca nadeau, Whew! I saved you on that one. Thanks for stopping by and I will check out your blog a little later.

Charles, You have a way of summing things up perfecto.

Don, Yeah the poor little rich girl approach is absurd.

Paul Brazill said...

Those scams have beeen going on for years. When I was working in East London we had a visit from Interpol because of some Nigerian scamsters using the office address to rip off greedy Dutch businessmen.

ca nadeau said...
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ca nadeau said...

you most certainly did! Now I have more money for that banking rep in Nigeria who discovered an unclaimed inheritance due to the entire immediate family being deceased in a grain reaper accident!

Sarah Laurence said...

Funny parallel. Old line, new media.

RReynolds said...

It's referred to as the Nigerian Letter or the 419 fraud. The 419 has been going on since the early 90s.

Dave King said...

Not a bad joke, surely? I enjoyed it! Maybe I don't get out enough, after all.

Only a week or so ago I got the Nigerian one in my junk mail box! Like jokes, I suppose, the old'uns are best!

David Cranmer said...

Paul, Having Interpol coming through the door at work must have been an experience.

ca nadeau, The old grain reaper accident is a bad way to go.

Sarah, But still someone should be suspicious of an unknown like this asking for help via e-mail. Where did they get your e-mail? Why you? Et cetera. I tend to agree with Patti that they must be roping in older folks with memory issues or very young people... Maybe.

RReynolds, Gracias.

Dave, Yeah, if Stephen King dropped by BEAT to a PULP I would be on cloud nine for sure.

G said...

Ivory Coast?

I'm sooooooo jealous.

All I even get is spam from Russia.

David Cranmer said...

G, The worst spam is the ones I get every other day from individuals thinking I need large doses of Viagra.

Mom's Fortress of Solitude said...

I actually met Mr. King when we were stationed in Brunswick, ME. I ran into him in downtown Bangor, and no I wasn't the one who hit him in the crosswalk. ;o)
He is just as amazing in person.

I'm a thoroughly fascinated with his life story, which inspires me to keep writing; keep submitting.

Ah . . . the good ol' Nigerian Express!

I like to have fun with solicitations such as these.

I write back with an overly enthusiastic interest, and give them the direct number to International Criminal Court: Tel. +31 (0)70 515 8515

Of course, that is only after I've had them fax a copy of their request for monetary gain, along with their mailing address, contact name and direct phone number to ICC's fax line:
Fax +31 (0)70 515 8555

They do fall for it 90% of the time. I came to this conclusion, based on the number of irate return emails I received the next day. :oP

I'm definitely following you, now. I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog.

Angela

David Cranmer said...

Angela, I’ve spent some time in Maine over the last couple of months and had to stop by his creepy but elegant looking house in Bangor. And you’re right that he’s an amazing talent and a huge influence on many of us. Hey, thanks for stopping by and I will check out your blog a little later today.

Barbara Martin said...

I get those emails regularly in my spam folder and they get trashed without being opened.