Friday, August 24, 2007

Variation on a Theme - But Not a Good One

Nigerians have apparently joined the US Marine Corps, gone to Iraq, and taken their money repatriation schemes with them.

From the beginning I have found the Nigerian repatriation letters to be nothing more than a curiosity. They were instructive for their numerous grammatical errors, indicative of someone with only rudimentary ("I have been a Legal solicitor for years many") knowledge of the English language. Most of the authors come across as people who were given English lessons by missionaries, found one of those computers that IBM dropped in the veldt ten years ago, and are parlaying their new skills into money-making schemes.

Since then, of course, the scheme has moved from Nigeria to any number of third world nations. They used to address me by my name, although they've since gotten lazy and don't do that anymore. The amount of money cited varies from $750,000 to well over $11 million. Had I bothered to follow a couple of these to their logical conclusions, I would either be rich or (according to the Secret Service) chopped up into fish bait by now.

I don't even give these things a second glance nowadays, but this one made it past my spam filters into my regular mailbox, and I read through it just to see how they're handling things now. I would have sent it straight into Spam Hell had it not been for the subject line: "A BUSINESS PROPOSAL FROM IRAQ." That started my blood boiling before I even glanced at the preview window.

Dear Friend,

Good day and compliments, i know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Capt.Jeffery Simpsons, a US Marine Capt. serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment which Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq.

I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $1,570,000 (One million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand US dollars) to the States or any safe country of your choice, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.

Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam Hussein's old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us. This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a German contact working with the UN here(his office enjoys some immunity)I was able to get the package out t a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, and before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative.

I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up. I do not know for how long I will remain here as I have been lucky to have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention. This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavour to contact me and we would work out the necessary formalities but i pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship.
Contact me via my private box:( so that I can furnish you with more details.

Capt.Jeffery Simpsons,
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ.
So there we have it. These schemes always target the gullible; so much is obvious. This attempt, however, plays on a highly emotional issue for many, many people. On a more cynical note, it could also be an attempt to play up to spreading liberal notions that US servicemen are uneducated exploiters, and use this to point out just how crooked our soldiers really are.

Either way, this is reprehensible in the extreme. The more bald attempts to play to our sympathies ("No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole." "...I have been lucky to have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks...") are downright criminal in their intent.

Parts of it, of course, are unintentionally funny. "Capt. Simpsons," a United States Marine, not only created a UK hotmail address, but failed to spell his own name properly when signing up for the account, apparently. Not to mention the obvious grammatical errors and misused British spellings ("mutually benefiting relationship" and "Endeavour" come to mind), along with the seemingly random Capitalizations.

No, Captain Simpsons either doesn't exist, or doesn't know that his name is being used in this manner. Either way, it's just another pavestone on this individual's path to a very dark afterlife.

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