Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Current work: new Riva
Listening to: Xue-Fei Yang (classical guitar)
Reading: Julia Williams, The Bridesmaid Pact (really enjoying this – one of the characters behaves incredibly badly, but Julia makes us root for her by showing us why. Even though it’s all written in first person, using the POV of all four friends, it’s not the badly behaved one who lets us into the scecrets: it’s her friends. Very nicely done. And Julia gets better with every book)

You know those ridiculous emails purporting to be from a desperate rich person in Nigeria or whatever, asking you to help and promising you millions of pounds?

Well, there seems to be a new one doing the rounds, via Facebook. And I thought I’d share it almost verbatim (I decided to be nice and not share the scammer’s alleged name, but that might do nicely for a future antihero’s name).

Dear Kate,

I know this Letter will come to you as a surprise, though I do not intend to embarrass you. Let me start by formally introducing My self to you. I am [scammer name], personal attorney to Mr Robert Hardy , nationality of your country who died in tragic motor accident by running into a stationery Trailer.

I am contacting you to assist retrieve his huge deposit of US$10.2Million left in the bank before its get confiscated by the bank.l wait to hear from you and l will give you more details.

Get back to me at my private email for more details: [scammer FB link]

[scammer name]

OK. First off, why the random capitalisation and the poor grammar? OK, so emails tend to be less formal than proper letters and people don’t tend to proofread them first, just dash them off; but even so I really think that someone who’s spent three years studying for a law degree and several more years doing articles or training for the bar would have a better grasp of English. (Especially if they’re purporting to sign it with a very English name, i.e. as if English is the person's first language.)

Secondly, any lawyer would not give details of (a) what had happened to the deceased or (b) the amount of money involved. They would simply ask me to contact them regarding the estate of [person name]. They would also give a proper contact address for their firm instead of a FB link, and actually they’re more likely to send a proper letter, not an email. And, um, if it's legit money, why would a bank threaten to 'confiscate' the deposit? And who in their right mind would have that sort of money in just ONE account, with just ONE financial institution? (That'd be very poor financial advice.)

And then there’s the ‘stationery Trailer’ thing. This is really, really bad of me (obviously the guy meant ‘stationary’ and there shouldn't be a cap T there either), but I have visions of pens and notebooks scattered all over the road…

However, I must thank the scammer, because he’s given me a lightbulb moment, aka the opening of a book. (I know, I know. I’m meant to be writing something else. I will be good in a minute or two, once I’ve scribbled this idea down.)

Other than that, Jim is being tough this week and has decreed that next week he wants me to turn up and play the first half of Spanish Ballad (aka Romanze) from memory. Which is fine, until you have the bit with the full barre on the seventh fret combined with an evil stretch. I know it’s good for me to attempt something to stretch me, but right now I could really do with a nap…

(Bad Kate. Coffee and back to work for you!)


Kimberly Lang said...

I, too, pictured notebooks and envelopes everywhere...

Lacey Devlin said...

LOL! Not one of the better scam attempts :-)

Kate Hardy said...

Kim - I knew you'd think that, too :o)

Lacey - absolutely!