Thursday, May 08, 2008


I could be rolling in dough, really. If I turned it into cash I could fill the Grand Canyon with loonies and toonies. Every day I'm informed by people with great 'safe' names like Amy and Rick, that I've won lotteries I haven't entered with numbers that I haven't paid for - how lucky is that? Winning 2 bajillion dollars without spending a cent! I've gotten to the point that I simply delete any email that has 'You Won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" as the header. Shit, I can't even win lotteries I DO buy tickets for.

The emails that really get me are the ones that purport to write to me on behalf of some person, facing huge personal tragedy who needs my help. I've had some 'woman' write to tell me that she needs to escape the hands of her abusive husband could I hide her money for her, some 'guy' write to tell me that he is dying from a fatal illness and wants to keep his money safe from a greedy family, another poor soul is 'facing life in a wheelchair' and needs to escape a warring country to a land of peace ... oh and ramps - they all, to a one, want to pay me to help them. They are relentlessly flattering to me about my character and implore me to help them.

These emails seem to me to be the step children of telathons. They take tragic circumstances, often presented as a disease or a disability as a means of evoking pity - then they throw in money. Telathons want your money, these emails promise you money. They combine pity and greed and hope that the mix will lure their readers down a path that begins with avarice and ends with bankrupcy.

Mostly these make me angry at the idea that someone may be fleeced by these emails. But part of me wonders what kind of people would WANT to make money on the back of someone else's misery. If I had the character that they seem to think I had, wouldn't I help them for free? Would I need to be given 1 million, 5 million, 10 million dollars just to help them get away from a husband who beats, a country in revolution or to treatment for disease or disability?

Those who would use the misfortune of others to swindle are a class of people that I don't understand. Those would would seek to exploit the situation of another for personal gain - who brought you up? Perpetuating the view of disability as a tragedy pisses me off. Buying into the stereotype makes me even more furious.

So if you've got a kid with a disability in a country that's full of revolution and violence and you live every day in fear of your husbands temper - don't even think of asking me to take the 800 billion dollars you happen to have tucked at the back of your sock drawer and 'hold' it for you while you escape (all for a reward of unimaginable size) into Canada. Because, if you've read yesterday's blog, I've troubles of my own.



Kei said...

Wow, you actually read those emails? I usually see... Dear sir or madam... and sent it to the spam folder. I have wondered about the character of people who send those out, as well as of the articles about scammers who bilk older people out of their money via phone calls that are similar. Then I realize... clearly those have no character... or any decent character. And then I start to wonder why those qualities are missing in such people... what kind of childhood they had, what kind of life leads to these actions. And then I wonder why you can have two people with similar upbringings, one turns to the criminal side of things while the other becomes selfless and charitable.

Then it dawns on me. Clearly I think too much, lol.

Heike Fabig said...

What pisses me off most about these things is that there are millions of people out there who have a genuine need, live in dire circumstances. And some greedy little bugger goes and exploits that.

Dave,get yourself a really really good spam filter, a night off with Joe, and maybe a nice massage or a little holiday.

lina said...

hysterical! thanks for making my day.
But think how your troubles from yesterday could be .....yesterday's troubles with a bajillion kajilion dollars ....insert evil laughter here!!!
thanks for my morning smile!

Shan said...

Yeah no kidding. I made one.....ONE.....misguided click months ago, and now I've got about 75 per day rolling in. Luckily they follow a pattern so I just had to set up about four rules and now I never see them. I do have to go into the folder now and again, check for legitimate correspondence, and delete the spam, but it's still better than seeing them flick into my Inbox one by one.

Anonymous said...

I don't get those sorts of emails just the sort offering to help me grow my "male organ." That would be particularly difficult given I am female but maybe they do have some sort of miracle drug.


Liz Miller said...

I love me some spam. Spam with eggs. Spam with mustard on rye.