Avoid going on hokey fraud phishing trips

For the bazillionth time (“bazillionth” is an exaggerated number, you readers who take me too literally) when I was double-checking what showed up in my e-mail junk mail cache, I encountered another one of those ridiculous fraud schemes. They’d be laughable if I weren’t already all laughed out over them. So now they’re just ridiculous and annoying.

As do most, this bogus e-mail began with one of the standard hokey fraud scheme come-ons, “Hello Dear.” That always gets my attention because it signals something ridiculous will follow. It’s kind of the not-so-secret handshake of the Stupidity Society.

Hello Dear? Like anyone in this day and age, even if he/she were from the make-believe country alluded to in the e-mail that allegedly desperately needs my help to obtain some sort of financial payment, would address someone like that. Even the most ancient of grandmothers in those allegedly financially desperate make-believe countries quit talking like that years ago, long before there were Internet-based pyramid schemes and phishing expeditions.

I don’t hold minor details like that against the ridiculous fraud schemers. I am surprised by neither the primitiveness nor the persistence of these phishers of foolish men. I can’t even accuse the phishers of being the stupidest people I’ve encountered. Because no matter how hokey their come-ons, there is always someone ever dumber who will allow him/herself to be reeled in by the flim-flamsiest of nets.

Occasionally I read on, mostly to see what person (insert hokey name here) with what distinction (trumped up hokey title) is supposedly e-mailing me in need of the services of a foreign stranger (me) in order to consummate the deal of a lifetime.

Today’s financial scheme du jour is allegedly being served up by a Ms. Julia Taiba, daughter of late Chief and Mrs. Humphrey Taiba. I’m impressed. This request for financial assistance is being proposed by an offspring of dead tribal royalty. The importance of the fact that I am the only one deemed qualified to be a liaison between a living, wronged party and dead tribal royalty is not lost on me. Make no mistake, it’s significant. I’m special.

The email request I partner with Ms. Julia Taiba for “financial transaction” purposes is intentionally stated to elicit from stupid readers a sense of grandeur. While most Americans have them pegged as simpletons, an exotically-named foreign someone believes they’re smart enough to read and comprehend the phrase “financial transaction” (whether or not they can even decipher their own bank statements). “Financial transaction” sounds important, don’t you agree? Me, I merely move money. Transacting sounds way too difficult.

But to some, the opportunity to not only financially transact, but to also “invest” in a lucrative manufacturing and/or real estate venture for this poor foreigner (who is presumably still grieving the loss of her father, the late Chief Humphrey Taiba) appeals to a latent business sense. The unenlightened reader of the e-mail concludes he/she absolutely must step in, not just to help out a fellow human being, but to fulfill his/her own manifest business destiny.

What’s the catch? The catch has already been caught. Using only a small bit of ego-appealing bait, the phishers of foolish men are already circling a someone who has been swimming around in the shallow end of the gene pool for some time.

Now here comes the real hook: The phish needs to be willing to help the long-suffering Ms. Julia Taiba stand as her late father’s foreign business partner, on whose behalf the late Chief Humphrey Taiba deposited a large amount ($4.7 million to be exact) in a United Kingdom bank.  Actually, the funds were deposited “under the care of” the bank, another attempted anti-colloquial sounding touch by the hokey fraud schemers.

At this point, the phish has no choice but to ask for enough line to allow swimming back to his/her checkbook in order to be the hero of this make-believe scenario. Unbelievable as it sounds, some people actually do this, following through and responding as directed by Ms. Julia Taiba’s urgings to “Contact me immediately for further explanation on the whole entire work plan.”

My advice? Swim to safety. Avoid falling hook, line and sinker for hokey fraud scheme come-ons.


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