I bet you’ve received at least once, an email promising amazing amounts of money in return for some trivial help on your part. The mail was crafted with such imagination, promise (and horrible English) that you were tempted to reach into your savings and send across the money that the mail requested, asap. Yes, I am referring to the Nigerian 419 Scam emails.
Doesn’t ring any bells? Read this.
So the other day, I get one more of these mails. And in a caffeine induced state of amusement, I craft my own version of the 419 email (with a little help from Vasanth). In an even higher state of amusement, the email actually goes out to the whole class and a few others. I expect lots of replies - curses for spamming people if not more - but unfortunately (fortunately?) satire is a concept unheard of here. Or maybe it’s just my sense of humor. No one gets the joke.. except for Sharad who sends back a gem of a reply.
Without further ado, here are the mails.
I am a poor student with a great business idea, stuck here without money to invest in this idea. I recently received this brainwave from my friend Ndugu in Nigeria. This proposal is very rewarding and I am discussing this with you in hope that you will keep this communication confidential.
I have come across a very great investment opportunity which will offer 10% semi-annual returns guaranteed. There is absolutely no risk involved and the entire setup is legal.
A minimum investment of 100,000SGD is required to enter this transaction. Unfortunately, I do not possess this sum and hence this mail to you. I have researched the Internet and found you to be a reliable and trustworthy potential partner in this endeavour. I request you to consider this proposal and contact me immediately with details on where you need to send money for this investment.
Your good friend,
I’m touched (by your honesty) and overjoyed by the prospect of becoming a millionaire. I used to sponsor a Nigerian student which was part of the sex relief fund created for some of them. These kids are the result of some rash moves, some individuals(of the opposite sex) made while in refuge camps during strife. The kids are later abandoned by these ppl. Poor them :-(.
So I decided to sponsor one such kid by the name Ndugu. I’m proud of this kid I sponsored and never knew he had so many business ideas to mete out. Oh my Ndugu, you’ve grown so big and are returning the generosity. Hence, I surely am ready to sponsor you Mr. Deepak, for the sake of my Ndugu who’s done me real proud. Please let me know the particulars and details of the transaction.
Since I myself am in a refuge camp in Cambodia, you would first somehow have to give me 2000000 riels eqvt approx $500 USD to initiate the transaction. By law refugees are not entitled to transfer any money, but can do so if they receive a credit of atleast 2000000 riels in the last 3 months. So, if you can somehow arrange to send $500 USD (which is nothing) compared to what you will get from me, we could go a long way in our business partnership. A $500 USD transfer into my designated acct. will guarantee the disbursement of 100,00,000 USD (which is my bank balance in Cambodia Mekong Bank) and which I intend to invest in NDugu’s idea.
220, Refuge Road,
Cambodia - Asia.
Let me just add a small note on Ndugu. It’s a reference to a character in the movie About Schmidt [imdb]. Ndugu is a poor African kid who Jack Nicholson is sponsoring through some adopt a child scheme. Sharad and I got the DVD and watched the movie.. immensely hating it. We saw the whole movie for just one reason.. Jack saying the word.. Ndugu. :-)