Urgent Reply Needed!

Just some light-hearted fun at the expense of fraudsters. I found an email in my spam folder that was titled “Urgent Reply Needed!” Occasionally I find it amusing to look at the spam so I opened it. It was a nice man from the Central Bank of Burkina Faso who wanted to split “$10.5 Million Dollars” (His unnecessary repetition, not mine) with me. He’d get 60% and I’d get 40% and all I had to do was send my details and claim to be next of kin of an Indonesian man who died in the 2004 tsunami disaster.

There were a couple of red flags. For example, I would be committing fraud. Also, every word in his letter was capitalised. I Guess It Is Meant To Make It Seem More Urgent But It’s Quite Odd Once You Notice It. I’m not even going to bother asking who thought an Indonesian man would do his banking in Burkina Faso and have his next of kin in South Africa. Then there was the strange question of the banker’s religion. Normally I don’t judge a person just on their religion but it’s nice to know that they know what they believe. This guy wasn’t so sure.

I Assured Of Your Capability And Reliability To Champion This Business Opportunity When I Prayed To God Or Allah About You.

Wasn’t he sure which he was praying to? And was it the deity that told him of my reliability? If so, why didn’t that deity give him a little more information? Although he did a lot of work in finding me…

However, It’s Just My Urgent Need For Foreign Partner That Made Me To Contact You For This Transaction. I Got Your Contact From Burkina Faso Chambers Of Commerce While I Was Searching For A Foreign Partner.

Yet he still had to ask for my name, age, sex and country, among other things. Did he just look up a list of foreign email addresses? And why did he even need a foreign partner. He’s quite emphatic about needing a foreign partner but no reason was ever given. I would’ve thought a local or Indonesian partner would be far more plausible when taking it the bank?

Obviously the whole message (and many similar ones) was a scam and you should certainly not reply or open any attachments. But, as seen above, the entire thing is so obvious. Not only is the situation implausible but the message is full of typos and inconsistencies. Strangely enough this may actually be a benefit for the scammers. It’s been suggested by Microsoft researchers that by making the scam obvious, only the most gullible people respond. That could also include the elderly who may no longer have the ability to recognise scams as easily. Those gullible people are most likely to be fooled and send money or banking details. If the scam is too well-hidden then there’s a risk of too many replies, most of which will not give the scammer the desired result.

If you can recognise them though you can have some fun laughing at how ridiculous the scenarios are. It never happens like in Cyanide and Happiness…

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