27 November 2005

A new line in Spam

We have all received literally thousands of those spam emails which are variations of the Nigerian 419 scam, right? You know the ones:
Dear Friend,
By grace of God all good wish to you and your family. I am dying of oesophageal cancer. Luckily I have access to 400 billion dollars, which I want, so God will, put in your bank account....

Well, today, as most days, I received several of those in my junk email inbox. But one of them was a bit different. This one was from someone I've actually heard of. It was, ostensibly, from none other than Suha Arafat, the wife of the late Yasser Arafat. Nice one. But there were other differences from the normal spam/scam emails too. For one thing, this one was written in accurate English, with none of the usual grammatical or spelling errors, and thus breaking all the conventions of email scamming. And for another, this email provided evidence backing up the legitimacy of the offer by means of two external links to articles discussing Arafat's missing millions (which could be in your bank account if you have the good sense to respond to Suha, damnit!) Of course, one of the two links was broken, but still.

Anyhow, here, for your viewing pleasure is Suha Arafat's heart-rending plea for assistance (with the odd editorial comment in italics).

Dear friend,
[I am not your friend, and I have a name. It is BerlinBear.]

I seek your permission to introduce myself to you.
[Permission denied.]
I am Mrs Suha Arafat,wife of Yasser Arafat the late
Palestinian ruler.
[You did it anyway. You're not listening, are you?]

Before the death of my husband,I had to close my swiss bank accounts and relocated the funds.
[Suha, dear, my heart just bleeds. I know how you feel. Before the death of my guinea pig, I had to close my "Kashin" children's savings account at the ASB. It was a traumatic time. I fell your pain.]

I proceeded to deposit the money as valuables in different private Vaulting companies for safe keeping.
[Ah, cunning. I should have done that. Instead, I just cut open the little plastic "Kashin" elephant piggybank and spent the money on sweets. I've regretted it ever since.]

This I did when the French Prosecutors started an inquiry into transfers I made into banks accounts I have in France.
[Those dastardly French eh?]

Please if you can assist in claiming this fund and investing it in your country,contact me as quickly as possible along with your full name,contact address and telephone number in order to give you the contact Information of the Vaulting company in Europe.
[Certainly, would you like my email account passwords, and my online banking pin as well?]

At the successful collection of the fund,you shall be compensated with 30% of the amount collected,5% shall be set aside to pay for the expenses incurred in the process of the collection and the balance 65% shall be retained for the investment.
[Suha, dear, you've blown it! You completely forgot to mention how many squillions of dollars my 30% share will represent. Up until then, I was interested. But what if it turns out to be less than what was in my "Kashin" elephant piggy bank? What do you take me for, some sort of fool? It sounds like you need to attend the 3rd Annual Nigerian Email Conference to improve your technique.]

I count on your absolute confidentiality while looking forward to your prompt reply.
[In fact, you cannot count on my absolute confidentiality. I may even put this on my blog, which is read by at least 5 people. Sorry love.]

See this website for more information:

[Nice. As "evidence" you link to an article which clearly states "it was also unclear whether even Suha Arafat knows where all of his millions lie." Clever.]
[Broken link, oldest trick in the book]


Suha Arafat.
Needless to say, Suha Arafat will not be receiving my "prompt reply." But I was amused.