People Really Fall for This?

I recently received a 419 scam email that starts like this:

Dear Chosen One,

I guess it beats “dear mass email recipient” or the more direct “dear pinhead.”

I hear Chosen One and I think of this:

The Chosen One


Then came their problem:

My name is Mrs. Zarina Al-Usman, I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I have being lying critically ill at the hospital since January 12th, 2010 when I was recently diagnosed with Hypoglycemia.

Yeah, language barrier. Fine. But hypoglycemia? Really? It’s like they opened up a book of medical problems and said “Oh, that sounds really scary. Let’s use it.” Or maybe their cousin had it, and it really messed him up, so they punched it in.

I’m tempted to just send them a Snickers bar.

The rest was the usual: send them money to start the deposit process and free up the funds, keep this confidential, pray for me, etc.

It shocks me people fall for this. Yet 419 scammers have an estimated 1% success rate, with US losses totaling over $100 million. I know there are a lot of stupid people out there, but this is a whole new level. Anyone who receives this email and actually sends money deserves to get cleaned out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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