By Harriet P. Gross
Who wants to be a millionaire?
Well, I’ve figured out how. Instead of trashing all the “offers” I’ve gotten in recent emails, I’ve saved them up. I presume you’ve received a similar pile of your own, but these are my personal favorites. All arrived in plenty of time to make me fabulously rich in 2015:
I start off very big: the Federal Ministry of Finance in Lagos, Nigeria, is offering me $3,500,000 if I “stop all further contact with any person or persons whom is not recommended by this Ministry. Our Intelligence Monitoring Unit, Code of Conduct Bureau, Legal Unit and the Nigerian Police Force have already apprehended some of those suspects whom attempted to divert your funds. You are advised to stop all further contact with some scammers you have been dealing with, because they are WANTED criminal suspects.” Maybe they are wanted because they’re the only ones in Nigeria who know how to use the word “whom” correctly?
Not to be outdone, Dr. James Morgan, Director of World Fund Management and reconciliation, London, plans to deliver $ 7.3 million by courier to my home address, if I will give it to him — along with my full name, nationality, age, sex, occupation, and phone numbers. The courier, of course, doesn’t know the content of the “two security proof boxes”; he’s been told they contain “Sensitive Photographic Film Materials.” (Capitalization and lack of same, above, are not mine…)
Dr. Howard Buffett, also of London, who makes “urgently” the subject line of his email, signs on with that name. But somehow, in midstream, he becomes Dr. Drik Van, a bank auditor who’s offering me 26,000,000 British pounds (each one worth $1.6383 today) since “a foreigner” died in a plane crash 13 years ago and nobody’s ever claimed his money. I’ve been designated the lucky recipient because of my “high repute and trustworthiness.” A totally risk- and trouble-free transaction, I’m told, since this treasure trove did not originate with “drug, money laundry, terrorism, or any other illegal act.” I quote this exactly as written by Dr. Buffett/Van.
Moving right along to Louise Janet, who presents herself with the email address of janet.louiseyellen, an American who is much terser than her Nigerian and English counterparts: “This is to inform you that the bank has concluded that your compensation payment be released to you today via wire transfer,” she says. Just “Re-confirm the below details: FULL NAME…ADDRESS…PHONE NUMBER…” Sure I will!
This Janet Yellen is exceeded in brevity by Margaret Loughrey, who posts that “I am giving out a donation, reply with name, address and phone no (number?) for more details.” Nice sentence structure, followed by “Please access the attached hyperlink for an important electronic communications disclaimer.” Then comes an http:// that only an idiot would click on.
Even shorter yet is Caitlin Erickson, who says “You have received a donation of $750,000; Email back for details.” But I have all the details I need already!
I’ve also won $2,000,000 in a Microsoft drawing, but I can’t collect until I send more personal info than requested by any of the folks above. And I’m warned: “Be advised not to disclose your winning details to the public until your claim has been processed and your Prize Money remitted to YOUR DESIGNATED BANK ACCOUNT.” (Capitalization mine — of course.)
However, my very favorite comes from David Newman, who promises me that $5.6 million is waiting for me, but first, “We want to find out if you’re still alive…”
I once knew a nice Jewish fellow by the name of David Newman; I’m sure he is not the same one. And the Janet Yellen we all know is a nice Jewish lady with much better math skills than the one above. So to honor these two, I’ll now deep-six the phonies, saying my goodbyes to all those phantom millions. I do hope you’ll be doing the same with yours!