At least that’s what I think it says in this email I received the other day. Here it is, just as I got it, misspellings and all:
THIS INSTRUCTION IS FROM FBI COME DIRECLY TO YOU
We have been watching every single transaction you made since last year until this 2014 and you have to know that we are also working to make sure your funds which are suppose to be delivered to you and also bear in mind that what ever you emailing us will be forward to the court.
Also we are hereby to notified by the federal bureau of investigation Cotonou department of the insult you imposed on them by failing to comply by their requirements.
Your full residential address has been forwarded to us for your immediate arrest to face your charge but I deemed it fit to give you one more chance to save yourself from this mess.
We have been told that you have failed to dance by the rule of the FBI which will warrant 1 years jail sentence. Now I john Francis Pikus the special agent in charge of the FBI Albany department I am giving you 24 working hours to effect the payment of the $199.00 usd. To the FBI in republic of Benin (fbisecurity ).
Wow. I have failed to dance by the rule of the FBI. Look at me, I’m a regular Fred Dillinger Astaire.
Or maybe (duh) it’s an Internet hoax, a fishing expedition like the ones telling about the “e-money” that is awaiting me in Nigeria or London or the women who can’t wait to meet me or the predators lurking in my neighborhood or the FedEx order that’s waiting to be delivered. And what they all have in common, besides being ludicrous, is this:
A. They all ask for money;
B. The English is usually atrocious; and
C. You just KNOW that someone out there has fallen for it.
Really. Someone believes it. Probably the same people who think they’ve won the grand prize from Publishers Clearing House. And who knows, they may also be the people who think the feds can monitor their thoughts, which is why they run around with colanders on their heads, but that’s another story.
The point is these frauds rely on the cooperation of a certain portion of the population – I call it the moron-American community – in order to work.
It’s the price we pay for having technology. I suspect it’s always been this way. As soon as we get something we can use to help us communicate, someone figures out a way to exploit it for nefarious purposes. They probably had “you-may-already-be-a-winner” letters on the Pony Express, or there’s-a-fortune-awaiting-you-in-Lagos telegrams on Western Union. And someone probably fell for them, too.
Or maybe I really am a nefarious character who needs to send $199 to Benin, pronto, or risk having the FBI come to my house and capture me. If that happens, you’ll know that Mrs. DeVane was right. Perhaps I should have put on my colander and taken it on the lam. Oh, well. Too late now. Come and get me, G-man.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at email@example.com. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.