My work has a fairly comprehensively efficient spam filter – so it was with great delight that I received the following “official” correspondence.
From: Rose Owen
Abidjan Cote d ivoire
How are you today? My Name is Miss Rose OwenI am 19 years old age girl. Is a pleasure to send you this email message I am pleading you to go through it and get back to me?. Also my dear good one i saw your profill that is why i have contacted you for urgent assistance to me, I am pleading to save my life. Please due reply me through my private mail box above. And also send me your direct email and your telephone number to reach you.
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country. Though I have not meet with you before but I believe, one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life. There is this huge amount of four million five hundred thousand U.S dollars ($7.5m) which my late Father Mr.Albert Owen kept for me in security company here in Abidjan before he was assassinated by unknown persons during this war in Cote d’ivoire. Now I have decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for security and political reasons. I want you to help and assist me claim and retrieve this fund from the security company and transfer it into your personal account in your country for investment purposes on these areas: 1). Telecommunication 2). The Transport Industry3). Five Star Hotel
If you can be of an assistance to me I will be pleased to offer to you 15% of the total
fund. I await your soonest response.
I’ve always wanted to be the victim of a Nigerian scam – and I decided that an Ivory Coast scam was close enough. I’ve tried replying before – but mentioning suspicions early on in the piece always seem prohibitive to further correspondence. In fact I’ve heard about scam baiters who received all sorts of small presents in the early throes of correspondence.
Here is my first reply:
Your offer is one of intrigue. I am interested. But sadly I have heard that people will use the email to rob me of my money. I am a very rich man and can’t have that happen. I need you to provide me some form of assurance that you are indeed able to provide such funds. In my line of business this is a normal practice.
Please reply with any thoughts you may have.
Rose was quick to sense a nibble at her well baited hook… we’re now on intimate first name terms:
Thanks very much for your mail and I am very glad to hear from you. I understood how you feel most especially as we don’t know each other; I will be more than happy if you are able to make a trip to come down here to visit me concerning this transaction. You will also have the time to examine the genuine of this transaction, and then meet with the security company management face-face on my behalf to discus for the release/transferring of the consignment to your country.
I contacted you because of my present situation and due to the political crises going on in my country now, since I lost my father I have been struggling to survive it. The saddest of it all is that the present government after killing my father seized all he has in possession; all let for me is this only money in one trunk box he deposited with the security company as family valuable.
I am given you the assurance that this transaction is real and genuine, I want you to believe me for the sake of God because I want to have this fund invested in your country. Then you arrange for me to come over to continue my education which I stopped after the death of my father.
The entire vital document for the deposit of the box is with me and I am ready to send copies to you to prove the existence of the consignment. I also have a photo my late father took the fund in the box before depositing it with the security company. I can send them to you as soon as you requested for it together with the contact details of the security company. Please I need your assistance and I want you to feel free to help me so that I can be able to start a new life with any investment you made with this fund.
Please Sir, I want you to give me your contacts/address information for more easy communication and I assure you my sincere heart in this transaction. Please I want you to assure me your honest assistance and get back to me with your information so that we can proceed. Have a nice day and I am waiting to hear from you soonest.
Not wanting to appear to eager to help out this 19 year old damsel in distress I waited a week before today’s reply:
Sorry I haven’t replied for so long. I had a deadly batch of flux that I have just managed to get rid of. Please pray that this does not become reflux. The sickness caused me to reflect on my affairs. I must ask – do you have access to the post? If so, could you mail me some proof that you are indeed a “real” person and that this is in fact the real deal. My uncle Aldo was once caught by one of dubious morals while using the internet. You understand that while I am desperate to help you I also must proceed with caution when giving you personal details. If you send me the photos and contact details I while do my best to help you start your new life in my country, maybe we could even meet up. I am looking for a wife.
Hopefully I won’t have to wait too much longer to hear from Rose and continue this potentially valuable relationship. I will keep you posted on any updates I receive. I realise this is not a novel idea and many others have had success poking fun at the scammers. I just want to see how many diseases I can potentially die of – I may even offer to include Rose in my will.