There isn’t an active internet user today that hasn’t received their fair share of spam Emails from mysterious senders spilling their sob story about how a vast amount of money is being held up in a bank’s red tape, and that you – yes, YOU! – are the only person that can help fish that cash out for them. Out of the mysterious Emailer’s appreciation for helping them get their hands on the money, they will give you a substantial portion of said money for simply depositing a small bit of your own cash in to an account to help the mysterious Emailer get the process rolling.
This morning, while checking my inbox to start my work day, I noticed I had received one such Email and it was in my spam folder, where it should be. I realized I had received dozens of these spam Email in the past, but never once had I actually read one of them. So I did.
The Email confused me. I started to wonder how I would react if I were a much dumber person. I wanted to understand the mentality of the people that create these kinds of spam messages. I wanted to understand who they are as humans, and how life screwed them so royally that they have been reduced to scamming people on the internet with fabricated tales of death and questionable banking practices.
So I decided to drive in to the Email and pick apart the narrative the sender was attempting to lay on me.
“My Dearest one,”
That was the subject of the Email as well as the opening line. So, right there, right off the bat, I know this is clearly bullshit. No one I exchange Emails with on a daily basis opens their Emails the same way a Civil War solider begins a letter to his beloved wife, Annabel, back home. Most, if not all, of the subject headings in my inbox are “Check this shit out” or “What up, douche?” or “(No Subject)”, because people can’t be bothered to at least give me a vague idea of what I’m about to read. That’s what eventually happens with people you communicate with on a regular basis. We all tend to think merely seeing an Email address we recognize is good enough to pass a bullshit test.
In this age of internet informality, being formal means you’re probably full of shit.
“Hi, My name is Lina Justin Yak,”
No one is named Lina Justin Yak. No one. Run that name in a Facebook search and you’ll find zero people with that name, and Facebook has 500 million-ish active users. If you search your own name you’ll find dozens of people. Yet no Lina Justin Yak, which, by the way, sounds like a name that was pieced together by drawing random names out of a hat. Lina is a name that’s 50% exotic, 50% plain-old regular girl you can meet on the street. Justin is the name of that white dude that works in accounting who has an impressive overbite. And Yak is an animal that isn’t exciting enough to be a cow.
“23years old originated from Sudan. I decide to contact you after my prayers, I really want to have a good relationship with you. My father Dr. Justin Yak was the former Minister for SPLA Affairs and Special Adviser to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for Decentralization. My father Dr.Justin Yak and my mother including other top Military officers and top govaernment officials had been on board when the plane crashed on Friday May 02, 2008.”
I can only assume that when she prayed, God gave Miss Yak my Email address. Shouldn’t God know I don’t have time to deal with this shit? And what makes God so all-mighty and all-powerful that he feels he can just hand out my Email to people all willy-nilly? Dick move, God. Dick move. My mom doesn’t even have that Email address. What makes God think I want to talk to a yak-person?
“After the burial of my father, my uncle conspired and sold my father’s properties to a Chinease Expatriate and live nothing for me. On a faithful morning, I opened my father’s briefcase and found out the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I traveled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money so that I can start a better life and take care of myself. On my arrival, the Branch manager of the Bank whom I met in person told me that my father’s instruction to the bank was the money be release to me only when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas.”
This section proves that all of these spam Emails are written by illiterate aspiring suspense novelists. This sounds like a subplot from a John Grisham book that was written after Grisham stopped caring about such things as “subplot” and “books” and “writing.” At the same time, it sounds like one of the plots you’d encounter in the middle of a season of 24, when the writers are spinning their wheels and are running out of ways to keep this terrorists-are-going-to-explode-LA thing going and the only fall back they have left is the D-plot about the ethnic girl and her troubled relationship with her African dictator father who’s really into genocide.
“I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust.”
Bitch, I don’t know you.
“But rather take me as your own sister.”
No. I don’t even like my real sister, and I don’t even have a sister.
“Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you are the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my uncle have threaten to assassinate me. The amount is $5.6 Million and I have confirmed from the bank in Burkina Faso. You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country.”
Here’s a little tip my mom gave me when I was young: don’t help strangers that want you to prevent them from being assassinated. That’s a world of trouble you don’t want to get involved with. I’ve seen the Borne Trilogy, and as much as I would like to get in to a foot chase across roofs in Tangier, I have video games that need to be played and silent, peaceful, non-shootout involved bowel movements that need to be taken in my toilet at home and not in my pants as I run from military-trained assassins.
“However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies.”
University of Phoenix online.
“It is my intention to compensate you with 30% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment. As soon as I receive your interest in helping me, I will put things into action immediately. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Please do keep this only to your self.”
I beg you not to disclose it till i come over because I am affraid of my wicked uncle who has threatened to kill me.
Miss Lina Justin Yak
That last line, taken by itself, reads like a fairy tale about human trafficking and child molestation. Yak-person never tries to take her story to the media, or to some high governing body. I’ve won the lottery of life and have been randomly selected to go on a wild, globetrotting adventure with a Sudanese lady, assassins, large amounts of cash, and foreign governments.
And I was chosen to take part in this adventure because of my immaculate qualifications – and here are those immaculate qualifications:
1) I have an Email address
2) See number one.
Under these strict qualifications only I fit the bill. Along with most humans and some people that have been in comas since at least 1995 when they signed up for an AOL account and then received massive head trauma for their troubles.
I’m one lucky man.