I Could Already Be a Winner!

This hit my inbox yesterday, one of the more amusing scam emails I’ve received.

Dear E-mail User;

You have a package that contains a bank draft of £5,00,000.00GBP from
the Massachusetts UK Lottery.
Contact Rose Fenty (Online Coordinator) for claims via: email:
(Mrs.rosefentydpt@syvip.com).

1. Full Name: 2. Address: 3. Age/Gender 4. Occupation 5. Nationality
6.Phone Number:

Send details to Fiduciary Agent: Rose Fenty.
All response and Queries concerning your claims should be sent via
E-mail to: {Mrs.rosefentydpt@syvip.com}

Online Coordinator,
Claims Agent.

The Massachusetts UK Lottery, eh? I wonder who bought the ticket for me, and how much they’ll demand as their share? I also wonder just how many pounds I’ve supposedly won.

There’s a certain temptation to try to make real contact with whomever’s behind it, just to try stringing them along. And then to bust them.

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About James Hanley

James Hanley is Associate Professor of Political Science at Adrian College and a Fellow of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The views expressed here do not reflect the views of either organization.
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6 Responses to I Could Already Be a Winner!

  1. Matty says:

    There are whole websites dedicated to the sport of playing with these sort of emails. Take a look her for some ideas, although be warned they are a little, um, bawdy in places.

  2. Scott Hanley says:

    I read somewhere or other (how do I put that in APA style?) that the scams are deliberately transparent because it still takes a lot of work to get the mark to the point where they actually part with their money. So it’s best to weed out the semi-sentient folks right up front.

  3. James Hanley says:

    Hmm, could the thieves relly be that clever? My default assumption is that they’re morons who only think they’re clever. But it’s a big world, so maybe.

  4. lancifer666 says:

    My Ethiopian sister-in-law just called my wife (from Saudi Arabia) to say that her husband had been contacted by email to tell him that he and his family had won the US Diversity Lottery and that they needed to send 1000 Saudi Riyal (about $270) in the next 24 hours to “finalize” the process. Of course the email had a number to call that wasn’t connected to the US State Department, which administers the diversity lottery.

    They were about to send the money when they called us to see if it was legit. Sadly I’m sure that many, many people that want to emigrate to the US fall for this scam. And 270 bucks is a huge some to most workers in the third world.

    We would bring many of Kidist’s family if the immigration process wasn’t so onerous and expensive. We are trying to bring her father since parents are the second easiest to bring to the US (children of naturalized citizens are the easiest).

    Once her father is naturalized (probably five years from now) he can begin the process of bringing any of Kidist’s siblings that want to come.

    Even before I had “alien” in-laws I favored open borders. Anyone that agrees to come to the US to work and contribute should be welcomed. The idea that there are only so many jobs and opportunities is xenophobic and counterproductive.

  5. lancifer666 says:

    Of course that should read “huge sum” not “huge some”. And sadly I’m a math teacher.

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