They Don't Even Try Anymore

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Remember the good old days, back when e-mail grifters used to put a little more effort into their scams? You know what I'm talking about; all of those classic "419" cons where exiled royalty, political dissidents, and plain ol' charitable folk presented you with too-good-t0-be-true-yet-you-never-know offers in which total strangers would ask for your assistance in hiding or depositing thousands - even millions- of dollars in your bank account, offering you a large chunk of change for what would amount to next to no work on your part? All they needed was access to your bank account, and, in no time, you'd be diving into a pool filled with gold coins ala' Scrooge McDuck. The problem, of course, was that these excessively polite deposed politicians, princes, and philanthropists were actually computer savvy Nigerian criminals who preyed on folks ignorant enough to fall for their schemes.

Sure, nowadays this sort of scam is common knowledge (there's even a few folks out there who make a sport out of  leading these guys on, with hilarious results), but admit it; back in the days before Spam filters, when you got your first letter from Prince Abako asking you to help him hide his family inheritance from the evil warlords in his homeland, don't pretend you didn't at least entertain the notion.  In the early going, these guys managed to fleece a lot of gullible (and not so gullible) people out of a lot of money (or, at the very least, ran them through an emotional wringer). Since then, a good majority of these folks have moved on to bigger and better scams, but there's still a few Nigerians out there kicking it old school, although, lately, it seems as though they're not putting too much effort into it. Take, for example, the reason for this blog entry - an e-mail I received mere minutes ago


I am General David Petraeus (Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A)) and I am looking for Matured and God fearing personnel to receive the sum of US$10m on my behalf,I want you to respond to this mail and let me know what you want as your share from this amount as you are important to me to bring the money out of Iraq. I am now in Afghanistan as commanding officer. I do not want any scandal because of this money and I do not want to loss the money.

I am waiting for your confirmation of interest and total commitment to my offer and guarantee of secrecy regarding this communication. You are to contactmy personal email

General David.


Of course, you can imagine my surprise at getting a late night correspondence from the General David Petraeus (or General David, as he so playfully refers to himself). Good thinking on his part using his "personal" Hotmail account. God knows it's so much more secure than those easily hacked U.S. Military e-mail addresses. Of course, I replied immediately, as I certainly didn't want to keep such an important man waiting. After all, he's got a war to run!


Dear General David.
It's so kind of you to write and offer to include me in your scheme to fleece the people of Iraq. I'm obviously more than happy to help, and I'm thrilled and honored that you trust me enough to share your top secret Hotmail address! I promise not to share it with anyone. Not even my wife, although she's a really huge fan of yours. She'll be sooooooooooo jealous that I talked to you! Of course, once we get our share of the $10 million, I'm sure she'll get over it.

Speaking of shares, seeing as how you were kind enough to let me decide how much I should get, I'm going to say $2 million, as I neither want to come off as too greedy or too eager. Does that work for you? I hope it does, as I could really use that money to get my business venture off the ground. You see, I've been toying around with the idea of opening a my own canine anal gland expression business for years, now, and this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. When you come back to the states, feel free to bring your dog in for a juicing anytime! We can have a cup of coffee and laugh about how we ripped off the Iraqi people.

So what do you need from me to get this going? I've got my banking information right here, as well as a stack of brand new credit cards, access to my 401k, and some of my offshore account numbers. Come to think of it, it'd probably be safer if we spread the money out over several accounts, so I can give you access to my wife's savings, my kid's college fund, and my mother-in-laws checking account, too!
Okay, I'm ready to get to work on this. Just tell me what I should do first!

Your BFF (Biggest Fan Forever!),


Good god, I love the internet.

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