The Endless Greed of Human Beings

419.jpg

The insatiable human greed is legendary but at some point people are just insane – beyond greedy. The other day I received one of those “forwarded” emails from someone who apparently still have my email, saying:

“Here something that you might want to read it was on the news .
Subject: FW: PLEEEEEASE READ!!!! It was on the news!

Dear friends,
Something to share with all of u. Would u believe if this is true? Read on….. For those who need money badly and this is one opportunity to try it! I’m an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends,
Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. If you ignore this you will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.
Regards.
Charles S. Bailey
General Manager Field Operations
[CONTACT DETAILS REMOVED]

I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on, Microsoft contacted me for my address and within days, I received a cheque for US$24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can afford this Bill Gates is the man. It’s all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least US$10,000.00.

We’re not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time. My brother’s girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped “Paid In Full”.

Like I said before, I know the law, and this is for real Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which would make them the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. ”

I, of course, deleted the damn thing. But this person who still had my email wasn’t enough for the apparently promised $245 they “will receive” from forwarding it to me, and the continues money pyramid they will receive to all the people they sent it to and those after them who also forward it as well. No, that was not enough for them. What do this particular person do? Send the same damned email again to me the next day! What the fUuuuuuuuck?

Then I realized, greed is what is at work here. People are losing hundreds of millions of dollars each year to such an amazingly absurd and poorly constructed scams by some high school dropout sitting in an internet cafe in Lagos or Abuja because they are so unbelievably greedy. What is more unbelievable is that most people who fall for this 419 (named after an internet cafe in Lagos, Nigeria – duh!) scams are doctors, lawyers, accountants, pastors, engineers, etc. because their greed is beyond insanity – like pedophiles who watch Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” and still show up for “To Catch a Predator” sting operations, which by the way isn’t deterring pedophiles from seeking to molest children.

But back to my point, what would it take for people to understand that noooo one is going to give them millions of dollars only if they send a small “transaction” and “handling” fees in order to receive millions of dollars they apparently all the sudden inherited from their long lost uncle or get 50% of that dead African dictator’s widow’s frozen fortune only if they help her by sending the transaction charges she needs to get her millions of frozen dollars from the bank. Or receive $245 just “by forwarding” Bill Gate’s email. The sad fact is, many people not only fall for this age-old poor con job, they fall for it multiple times. What a sad, sad reflection of human nature that is.

It is no surprising that most of the world’s problems since human existence can be attributed to human greed – wars, poverty, conflicts, imperialism….

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Categories: Scams | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The Endless Greed of Human Beings

  1. euhippus

    “419 (named after an internet cafe in Lagos, Nigeria – duh!)”

    I thought it was named after the Nigerian section of the law that covers such fraud. Maybe I got the wrong email…

  2. Om, I’ve made it a habit to reply to solicitation e-mails from our Nigerian friends. I make it a point to correct their grammar and diction, and then request a good faith payment of $10000 through PayPal. No one has responded yet.

  3. I’ve been doing ebay for a while and recently there has been a huge surge of scams going on from Nigeria and East/West Africa. I almost fell prey to one attempt. A person located in Nigeria wanted a buyout price for an item was selling. Therefore I agreed and cancelled my auction. I gave them some information about myself (luckily it was just name, phone number, and address…but that can cause problems too) and they wanted me to ship out my product before payment. So I stopped right there. Everything was poorly typed and it looked fake. They didn’t contact me directly. A “3rd party” did. This third party was western union and it was obvious all the pictures were taken and expanded to fit.

    I laugh at all the people that get caught very deep in obvious scams, but it sucks to know that these scams actually work on dumbasses. It pisses me off that idiots from nigeria or other places who can’t even type English properly get away with it. It is as if a middle-schooler from the USA made it.

  4. Om

    euhippus,

    It is true that the 419 is a section dealing with scams in the Nigerian law, but the law code itself got it from a notorious internet cafe in Lagos with the 419 address.

    Aya, I just cussed ’em out and threaten to come to Africa and beat the hell out of them – so far, none have responded.

    Neil, you are absolutely right these scumbags are the worst con artists because they can’t even spell anything correct, much less than convince you. But unfortunately, a lot of Americans and Europeans still believe these poorly written and constructed e-mails, losing thousands of dollars each year. In fact, only a fraction of the victims ever report the crime, that is why they’re still doing it. Every time I post an item for sale on craigslist and now facebook, I still receive what you receive but I just ignore them or cuss ’em out.

  5. Pat

    I recieve ENDLESS “lottery winnings” “benefactor money” “job offers”(that’s my favorite) and now most recently they are using aol’s name as the “lottery” account. It’s NEVER ENDING! I must “WIN” at least 20 of these a day. (sometimes 2 or 3 from the same email address) is there a way to report these to someone who can investigate?
    The biggest one I received stated that the FBI was involved! I forwarded that one on to the FBI with all the info I had. I would like to know that I can report these to someone who is actually taking the time to investigate and hopefully catch these crooks!
    Obviously there are still people out there that fall for it because they are still in business.
    I appreciate any suggestions anyone has.

  6. My friend on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came to your blog.

  7. Ray

    I have frequently received e-mail scam such as these. Ah, about a year ago when I was 12 years old I was foolish enough to place my e-mail address on a certain social networking site. Within hours I was subject to a macabre of email scams, including the “Bill Gates Sharing his Fortune!!!!” scam. I eventually abandoned the account, for it was overflowing with e-mail. It achieved a daily average of 1200 new e-mail messages each day. Ah, but I have learned….

  8. Om

    Ray, I’m sorry to hear that! But, as you noted, one quickly learns about these scams. Unfortunately, some people seem to never learn.

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