I’ve decided there might be some entertainment value to be had in reviewing e-mails from spammers. We all get these 419 scams and promptly ignore them, right? RIGHT??? (Please contact me if you don’t ignore them and you actually think you’re going to get some money out of the deal. There might be some entertainment value in that as well.) So, without further ado, this is the text of an e-mail I received earlier today, broken down with my own comments:
It’s always important to open your scam letter with a friendly greeting. It makes a good impression and puts the recipient at ease. In this case, using a colon instead of the customary comma is symbolic of something the scammer plans to do to the recipient. Nice touch.
With a very desperate need for assistance,I have summoned up courage to contact you since i am presently in Iraq with the 3rd Battalion,29th Field Artillery Regiment,3/4 AAB and found your contact particulars in an Address journal.
How much courage does one summon to contact me??? This guy is in a combat unit for cryin’ out loud. I know I can be intimidating, but traditionally that only applies to iguanas and children under the age of four. A few more weeks of basic training might have done him a world of good.
Now I was all set to tell explain how this alleged soldier’s claimed assignment was completely made up, but it appears that 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery actually makes some kind of sense—at least according to Wikipedia. I’m not sure what 3/4 AAB is, but I’m willing to cut him some slack on that. It sounds official and even if it’s not, I might be willing to overlook it for a cut of $5 million. Here’s a nickel, kid. Add a few more obscure numbers and letters to your ID and the locals will be even more impressed.
I knew putting my “contact particulars” in that Address journal was going to pay off big one day! Here’s a tip for all you young folks who hope to someday make a ton of money off some stranger in another country: always make sure your e-mail address is in the Address journal.
I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $5,000000.00( Five million US dollars)to you as long as i am assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here in iraq.This is not a stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
Well that’s a relief. Whenever someone tries to give me money, I need to be assured that there are no dangers involved. Some dude tried to give me a quarter for a parking meter once downtown and I ended up in a Panamanian prison for six months. You can’t be too careful.
I’m not too sure about him “evacuating” his money to me though. I don’t think I know him well enough for that, and even if I did, it’s not really my thing. I’d prefer a clean, non-evacuated FedEx envelope stuffed with cash. Please make a note of it.
I await your response.please get back to me through my personal email address below: email@example.com for more details.
It starts to look a little fishy at this point, and not just because “bkofchina.com” doesn’t appear to be a valid address. For one thing, it’s hard to think of a good reason why a GI stationed in Iraq would have a Bank of China e-mail account—even a fake one. For another, the e-mail address on the note I received didn’t come from Andrew Huth at all, it came from “Mr. Mark Monks,” and Mr. Monks’ real e-mail address appears to be firstname.lastname@example.org. Capt. Huth is probably using Mr. Monks’ account (which oddly integrates Capt. Huth’s name) so Capt. Huth’s parents don’t find out he’s sexting.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunitions at a location near one of Saddam’s old palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us.No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole.
It’s always nice to know where your money is coming from. In this case, it’s coming from barrels hidden in a weapons cache. Good choice. Since no one would ever think of conducting an inventory of a weapons cache, it’s likely to remain hidden there for a long time.
As a bonus, the explanation is followed up with the justification: “We got sent to a hell hole, so we deserve whatever we can steal.” We can all sleep easy knowing this guy is saving the world.
The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me so with the help of a German contact working here and his office enjoys some immunity i was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.He does not know the real contents of the package and believes that it belongs to an Asian American who died in an airaid before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his family.There is a secured way of getting the package out to a safer country for you to pick up.i will discuss this with you when I am sure that you are willing to assist me.
Why are these things always written by people who sound like cave men? “…safe location entirely out of trouble spot.” Much big trouble in trouble spot. Trouble spot make bad mojo.
There’s also the disturbing issue with the first letters of every sentence butting up hard against the periods. Is it too much to ask that the guy with whom I’m making a $5 mil “no dangers” deal whack the space bar every once in a while?
If nothing else, he probably made a good choice selecting a German guy to do the smuggling. The Germans (and I’m part German, so shut up) have a bit of a history moving valuable goods out of war zones.
One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with a third party should you have reasons to reject this offer please destroy this mail as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us. I do not know for how long we will remain here but hopefully and before the year runs out,I have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God this and other reasons I will mention later has prompted me to reach out for help.
Well dadgum it. I’ve gone and spilled the beans, haven’t I? I might have taken Capt. Huth’s request for secrecy a little more seriously if the original missive had been sent to only me instead of to “undisclosed recipients.” Remember: when you want to keep things on the down low, send mass e-mails to total strangers.
Capt. Andrew Huth
3rd Battalion,29th Field Artillery Regiment,3/4 AAB.
You’re welcome, Capt. Huth. Anything I can do and all that. And if I can’t help you, I’m sure there’s someone else who can. Perhaps one of the spammers who will inevitably contact you now that I’ve posted your real e-mail address on the Internet.