Last week, the search for a verification email to stop my author’s website from being suspended sent me into the morass of my spam folder.
There were newsletters I’d forgotten I’d signed up for from online stores whose style I’ve long outgrown. There were pleas from charities I’ve been neglecting. There were opportunities from job sites I haven’t logged into in years. There was something from Chess.com of all places. I suppose I must have signed up before I’d stopped fighting my poor spatial reasoning skills and given up on ever being able to master strategy games.
All these people were still diligently chasing after me years after I’d cut them out of my life.
It’s nice to feel desired.
But among all the suitors I’d led on and ghosted were the catfishers.
I can’t believe people are still running the “help me get my fortune out of this African country” con. How can it possibly still be working?
“Miss Fiona Nadero” was exceeding polite but ultimately unconvincing.
I am sorry to intrude into your privacy but due to my present condition that I found myself after the death of my father, I have no option than to let you know my ordeal. My name is Miss. Fiona Nadero, I’m a Angolan nationality born in Libya, a 22 years old girl. I lost my father on the Christmas day on 25th December, 2016, he was shot by unknown armed rebel. My father died on 4th January 2017. Before his death he secretly told me that my late mothers family in Libya, are behind this and warned me to avoid them, that I should seek for a foreign guardian oversea that will assist me to further my education in his or her country. He also revealed to me about a secret deposit he made in my name.
My mother died when am 9 years old. I need your urgent help my life is not safe am in danger here as I can not go back to Libya again. I need your assistance to secure my fund $6.3 Million Dollars (Six Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and have it transfer to you in your country. Presently, I’m in a hiding where am contacting you from, please get back to me immediately if you can be of good help to me. My private email: (email@example.com).
Best wishes and regards!
Miss. Fiona Nadero.
The father having died on Christmas was a bit heavy-handed, in my opinion. The rebel killing him was a nice touch, though. It added a bit of drama to things. The dead mother was just overkill. Less is more, Fiona.
This one from “Mr. Jeff Anderson, TRANSFER INSPECTION OFFICER (he shouted at me in all caps!) at Bank of America” was a bit more professional looking, but it still didn’t cut the mustard.
Bank of America
115 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, USA
From Desktop of Mr. Jeff Anderson
Our Ref: BOF-0XX2/987/20
It is my modest obligation to write you this letter as regards the Authorization of your owed payment through our most respected financial institution (Bank of America). I am Mr. Jeff Anderson, TRANSFER INSPECTION OFFICER, foreign operations Department Bank of America, the British Government in Conjunction with us government, World Bank, united Nations Organization on foreign Payment matters has empowered my bank after much consultation and consideration to handle all foreign payments and release them to their appropriate beneficiaries with the help of a Representative from Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
As the newly Appointed/Accredited International Paying Bank, We have been instructed by the world governing body together with the committee on international debt reconciliation department to release your overdue funds with immediate effect; with this exclusive vide transaction no.: wha/eur/202,password: 339331, pin code: 78569, having received these vital payment numbers, you are instantly qualified to receive and confirm your payment with us within the next 96hrs.
Be informed that we have verified your payment file as directed to us and your name is next on the list of our outstanding fund beneficiaries to receive their payment. Be advised that because of too many funds beneficiaries, you are entitled to receive the sum of $14.5M,(Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only), as to enable us pay other eligible beneficiaries.
To facilitate with the process of this transaction, please kindly re-confirm the following information below:
1) Your Full Name:
2) Your Full Address:
3) Your Contact Telephone and Fax No:
4) Your Profession, Age and Marital Status:
5) Any Valid Form of Your Identification/Driver’s License:
6) Bank Name:
7) Bank Address:
8) Account Name:
9) Account Number:
10) Swift Code:
11) Routing Number:
As soon as we receive the above mentioned information, your payment will be processed and released to you without any further delay. This notification email should be your confidential property to avoid impersonators claiming your fund. You are required to provide the above information for your transfer to take place through Bank to Bank Transfer directly from Bank of America
We Look Forward To Serving You Better.
Mr. Jeff Anderson,
TRANSFER INSPECTION OFFICER
Bank of America
I quite liked all the phony, official-looking codes and passwords and the invocation of the World Bank, etc. I appreciate the attention to detail “Jeff” and his friends put into this. And look at all the life-ruining information they requested right off rip. Personally, I thought the “We Look Forward To Serving You Better” (as we empty your bank accounts and make off with your life savings) was a little cold-blooded. But maybe that’s just me.
Then there was a weird one that was presenting as an unauthorized login warning, but it was formatted so badly, it looked like a corrupted file. It was riddled with links that I wouldn’t dare click — one seemed to lead to construction firm. It was all very bizarre. Especially the language that was tagged on to the end.
completing moresby sparing shod perpetually cheater musicians fatima starters migrating droughts porterhouse reconstructs perplexed anodize speechless constructs stoutly calmer hammered shiner whizzes
Seriously… What is that supposed to mean? Is it some sort of spell? What will happen if one of us says it out loud?
I had no idea my spam folder was so diverting. I think I’ll check it more often.