Recently, the OKC-BBB published an alert concerning the latest e-mail scam to blow through our computers – another one of those requests for your bank account numbers to launder the ill-gotten gains of some foreign government in exchange for you keeping a chunk of the cash – and the resounding response from a number of readers was (and I’m not exaggerating here), “Who’s stupid enough to fall for this stuff?”
I’m taking some liberties in presenting that quote. Most people who wrote me in response to the alert used stronger words that “stupid.” A few of them also substituted a different “s-word” for “stuff,” but this is a family blog, so I changed it to something more palatable.
Here’s the thing, folks: I don’t know that the folks who fall for the typical Nigerian Scam or the con games a generation or two down the line from it are “intellectually challenged.” Of course, it’s not a bright move to buy into this process, but I don’t think the primary mindset in this case is stupidity. I think it’s greed, and as much as we might be taught in our wonderful capitalistic society that “Greed is good,” the downside on the learning curve is dangerously sharp.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the type of scam I’m talking about, let’s examine the most recent e-mail that sourced our alert. I’ll comment as we go….
For the safety of my life and that of my family, please not to share with anyone.
Wow! This message goes for the heart strings right from the get-go. Excitement! Intrigue! Lives hanging in the balance!
My name is Rahim Ishmael I am one of the Gadhafi palace guard, and that is all I can tell you now, until I am sure if you can be trusted.
Pure genius! The con man isn’t sure if he can trust you, putting you in the position of defending your reliability, not the other way around.
During this civil unrest in my country, a lot of things, both secured and none secured has gone missing. I and one other guard of the Gadhafi palace have been able to relocate some “marked and sealed” gold bars worth more than seven hundred million dollars, to a secure location. This gold bars has seal and serial numbers that can be identified and traced. At the moment, we cannot do anything with the gold until we erase the seal, serial numbers and then change the identity of the gold.