It finally happened, I finally got my first African scammer email. Without a doubt, this is a sure-fire sign that the interweb has recognized an individual as being important enough to try shaking down for a fair bit of coin. As much as I wish I could claim that I have arrived there is a problem; mine is absolute shit. If you’re curious what I’m on about, take a look for yourself.
Do you see exactly why I am bummed out?
Look again at the top.
“Hello Dear ,”
Really, Mr. Aliraqi, if I’m going to unwittingly walk into what is evidently a scam then you could at the very least attempt to write out my name, which is clearly spelled out on my facebook page. Really, if you’d at least been willing to put in a butchered version–I’m thinking Biran Ftorh would have been a delightful one– then I’d at least feel like I’m getting some slight nod towards my existence from your fine Lome-based law firm.
I really do wish that I could simply dismiss this as scammers from Togo (that’s in Africa) being rude, but I think it is something much worse than that. Horrifying as it is to believe, I’m convinced that scammers are just getting lazy. It’s not just internet scammers either. My grandmother once received a call from an unknown man claiming to be me. Mr. Anonymous told my sweet ol’ granny that I (he) had been busted in Canada for drug possession during Spring Break and needed money for bail.
Well, my grandmother wasn’t to be had so easily. First off she noticed that this scammer did not sound a thing like me. He also made the mistake of assuming that I would willingly go somewhere cold, and overlooked the fact that I was happily snuggled in bed with a lady-friend in Denver. There’s also the fact that I don’t use drugs at all.
Now those are all very easy and very typical scammer cock-ups. What really disappointed me about this scammer was the fact that he used my grandmother’s maiden name to identify himself.
It’s this sort of mess-up that just leaves me stripped of any and all hope for the future of these aspiring entrepreneurs. They have simply become hopelessly lazy.
The man who attempted to out-wit my grandmother may have had a remote chance of succeeding if my grandmother had consumed copious amounts of vodka and hit her head on a brick wall a few times–though he would still have to get my surname correct in addition to all of that.
Likewise, old Haitham should have put in a lot more effort than he did. I’m not talking about cleaning up those comma splices, correcting his capitalizations and mending the grammar screw-ups. I would have completely ignored all of that if I were born without a lick of common sense and just finished drinking a liter of paint-thinner. What kept him from deceiving this fume-huffing non-existent version of me is the lack of details.
When most people get these emails they get an awesome little yarn about how their long-lost millionaire relative died. Usually it involves a plane crash or a car crash. If a scammer got creative then maybe they could trick me with a story about an aggressive yeast infection that came from a beer enema.
Then there’s the fact that this guy may have been playing it much to safe. It is possible that he sat down in his little barn, cleared the cow feces from his laptop and figured to try catching a bee with honey for a change. Maybe he was probably going to tell me how sorry he was, and encourage me to drink another pint of wood-stain before giving me a clear percentage split and mentioning Western Union.
But I’m doubtful of that.
I’m almost certain that Haitham sat down at his computer and felt that I would know to go to the prestigious Western Union and divulge all of my sensitive information without any guidance whatsoever. I’m sure that he was convinced that I would overlook the fact that he couldn’t even be bothered to name his “law firm” and even disregard the unprofessionalism of him sending me a message on facebook. And that was his downfall. He’s just like most workers at McDonald’s. He doesn’t know how to put that extra bit of effort into his business ventures, or even act without a clinically depressed, washed-up business school drop-out acting as his manager. He doesn’t have that hardcore desire to succeed and is expecting me to pick up the slack.
By effect this does two things: it leaves me with a half-cocked interweb milestone and it also makes me a bit sad. I know now that poor Haitham and Mr. Drugs-in-Canada will never achieve their shared dream of ripping off a stupid, fat American. They would have failed with me because I’m rather skinny and I’m merely thick, but it’s the concept of the situation that makes it so tragic. They just can’t be bothered to put in the effort.
It’s on this note that I wish to wrap things up. My fellow Americans, this is our fault. We have been babying our children so badly and discouraging them from going the extra mile that it has begun to spread: the lazy juice has spilled out of our big-gulp cup and spilled into the third world. This taught helplessness that we have spread to the rest of the world has done exactly what our nation did to Central America during the Cold War. Ruination.
The only way these men will learn the error of their ways is if we humiliate them and give them that burning hatred it takes to truly scam a person with no remorse. To do this I suggest that you find a highly uncomfortable picture, such as one of a hairy gentleman’s sausage or two dogs mating and email it to any scammer too lazy to include a business name or mention Western Union in their emails.
Let’s rebuild the third-world, one bitter peasant at a time.