Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Is this a scam or the deal of a lifetime?

No matter how stupid (or clever) you may be, here's a pretty much fool-proof test you can can do next time an African president offers to share 33 million Dollars with you.

With most scams, the person writing the mail pretends that you have been chosen for some special reason. They claim to have received your contact details via a chamber of commerce (see the previous blog entry), a trusted business associate or some other reputable source. Obviously these are big deals. President Ungaka Mbotu Taylor doesn't trust just anyone with this kind of transaction. With this in mind, he is fairly likely to have chosen you because of your trustworthy reputation.

After reading the crudely written email you should be fairly certain that it's a scam. If not, then here's the best test.

Ask the president if he know's your name?

Remember that in most cases, the spammers just capture the email address and not the name that had been associated with it. A genuine person would likely know your name and a bit more about you. A scammer is not likely to know your name at all.

A great way to waste a scammer's time is to dwell on the question of how they found you? Ask them in great detail who it was who passed on your email address. Play along, tell them how excited you are and that you are proud that your reputation has spread as far as the Sudannese refugee camps (that also happen to have fax services and a T1 line).

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