Spammers at the Gates

Not long ago I got one of those spam e-mails in my inbox. I'm continually amazed at the implausibility of these e-mails. It makes me wonder if people are still falling for them. However, since I keep getting them, I have to believe that someone out there is still responding.

After the e-mail, which I've included for your interest and humor, there's a humorous video of someone who played along with an e-mail scam. At least one person is keeping the spammers busy.

Hello friend,
 I want to trust you with this confidential proposal. Before I continue, let me introduce myself to you, I am Col. Thomas Collins the commander of the Special N.A.T.O coalition force with the United Nation troops in Afghanistan, on war against terrorism. I was working with General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S and NATO forces in Afghanistan before he was replaced last June by another General David Petraeus. I am serving currently in a Taliban territory; a remote Village in Bamyan province to the bustling capital Kabul (CBC’s Doc Zone).
 Because of series of killing of England/United States troops in Afghanistan especially the shot down of UN helicopter that killed 30 American soldiers and 12 England Soldiers on the 5th of August 2013 and the five American soldiers who were killed by a bomb in Afghanistan onThursday last week. After this series of killing I and my colleague decided to share the money we recovered on our raids on terrorist’s camp in Afghanistan. I have now in my possession the sum of $16M (Sixteen million US Dollars).
 I have carefully packaged the money in a box, I have made contact with a friend who is working with the UNITED NATIONS RED CROSS here in Kabul. He will assist me move the consignment out of the trouble area down to your country, which is the only safer means of moving it out of this hell hole, he will deposit it with the United Nations Red Cross as a diplomatic luggage as I have told him that the luggage belongs to one of our soldier that died during the attack but before giving up he told me to make sure the luggage get to his family. He will deposit the consignment for safe keep and to make contacts for its proper use.
 So I need someone I can work with on trust and that is why I contacted you. So if you accept, I will put you forward as the beneficiary/owner of the funds and then the box shall be deposited on your name as the beneficiary and the Red Cross Agent will transfer the box to you anywhere in your city. I just need your acceptance and all is done. I have 100%  assurance that you will surely receive the box without any hitch through United Nations, every arrangement will be made to proceed to your country.
 Once I confirm your interest to my proposal, and your positive reply I will proceed with the arrangement to move the consignment out of the trouble area and register your name as the beneficiary then move the consignment to your country Red Cross office. I am willing to give you 30% of the total sum when the money is delivered to you. I wait for your response so we can proceed immediately. In less than 7 days the money should be in your safe custody.
 The only telephone access we have here is radio message which is for our general use and is being monitored, therefore all communication will be via email till we finish our assignment. Please keep it to your self even if you are not interested, thank God for President Barrack Obama whose keen interest is to call us back home soon.
Col. Tom Collins


The implausibility of this sort of e-mail is evident on several levels. First, why would someone contact me as if I'm the best person to receive a $16 million shipment. I wouldn't say no to $4.8 million if I found it on the street, but I hardly think that I'm the best person to fulfill this sort of function. There has to be another layer of people more likely to succeed in laundering this amount of money that are closer to the troops.

Second, the author can't even bother to be consistent in his own e-mail. He's an American colonel, but at the same time, he wants to get money into "your country." At least if you're going to lie to me you should be a little craftier.

Third, I'm supposed to believe that the phone is monitored but e-mail isn't? Seriously? Who falls for this stuff?

Anyway, I guess I've violated the agreement because I've published the solicitation even though I was asked by the good Col. Tom Collins not to. I wonder what might have responded and strung him along like the guy in this TED talk.

Playing Along

Here's what happens if you actually play along with the spamming scammers. The speaker is a comedian, so his timing is good. This is one of the more entertaining TED talks I've watched.

Used by CC License. Danger from Heavy Seas by Anne.

Used by CC License. Danger from Heavy Seas by Anne.