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The Suburbanite
  • Gary Brown: Are scam emails making you irritable, too?

  • “On behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ...”

    When the FBI gets mentioned in the first sentence of an email you sort of get that hot sweaty feeling, and your ears start to roar, and you lose concentration.

    • email print
  • “On behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ...”
    When the FBI gets mentioned in the first sentence of an email you sort of get that hot sweaty feeling, and your ears start to roar, and you lose concentration. And this is when you know you’ve done nothing wrong, at least that you’re aware of. I suppose there could be accidental or forgotten felonies. Imagine how you’d feel if you knew automatically that you were guilty and could remember some specific crimes.
    Anyway, I got flustered and I had to read twice the part about the FBI teaming up with the World Bank, the United Nation Economic and Social Council, and the United States Treasury Department in an investigation of me. How serious WAS this thing I didn’t do, I swear?
    “It has been identified that you were in several contacts with people in various EU Countries, United States of America, United Kingdom, London, Malaysia, Nigeria/Entire African Region, Cambodia and the entire Middle East and Asia.”
    Hey, they contacted me. I get emails every day about deposed government leaders and dead royalty, offering me a chance to carve out a chunk of the millions they’ve left behind. But I don’t solicit them. I don’t even answer them. No dead royal person is going to know me, and leave my name and email address behind, along with the note, “Good guy. Very helpful. He’ll smuggle the money if you ask him nice.”
    And I don’t try to claim the tens of thousands of dollars in lottery winnings that I’m supposed to have won every week, either, mostly because I never entered the lotteries in the first place. When bucks come to bank account, legally it helps to have a ticket.
    SCAM ALERT
    I’ve always figured these emails were scams, and, according to this supposed FBI and Treasury Department email, a lot of them apparently were pretty shady. At least enough of them were scams for the World Bank to want to make a “scam reconciliation payment” to me.
    “The FBI have carried out a Judicial Due Diligence,” this latest email continued, “and we hereby confirm that these impostors operate with false promises by the form of Internet, fake online banking system, fake lawyers and fake security firms/companies.”
    Do you think?
    “Consequently, the FBI has by virtue of Constitutional Power and Authority wish to inform you that the sum US $5.5m, with the view of making sure that you receive this fund,” the email said, “once we ascertain your bonafide status that you have lost money through any means mentioned above.”
    ALARM SOUNDS
    Well, the most I’ve lost lately is a couple of bucks in a sandwich machine, and the vending machine company quickly paid me back for that. We didn’t need to bring in the FBI and get the World Bank in an uproar about it.
    Page 2 of 2 - The email went on to ask for the same kind of identification information that the people they were calling “impostors” always asked requested.
    OK, so this apparently wasn’t the FBI at all, nor the Treasury Department, and for sure it wasn’t the United Nation Economic and Social Council — which, by the way really needs to be “Nations” if they’re going to be united.  
    But, maybe getting another apparent scam email is just making me grammatically irritable. I know it makes me angry to know that somebody is trying to find out who was easy to scam in the past, so they can scam them again in the future.