“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
Some days is good days and some days is bad days.
Today started off as just another quiet Sunday. I was going to write a short sermon, but decided against it since you’d already had one of those from me on Wednesday.
Then I got a life changing opportunity from the most unlikely of sources. On offer was a cool $5 million!
How good is that!!
I just had to tell you about it.
The opportunity came from my good friend General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, one of the generals who have defected from the Syrian Army.
It turns out that the office of General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal monitors and controls the affairs of sensitive institutions in Syria that takes to do with foreign contract payments.
It also turns out that General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal thinks that I am a respected and honest person suitable for handling this project/transaction with sincerity, trust and confidentiality. Perhaps he had read some of my posts about the folly of getting involved in the Syrian conflict.
Luckily – for him – before he defected, the General was able to get his hands on all the paperwork necessary to retrieve unclaimed deposits and over invoiced sums to do with foreign contracts.
And luckily – for me – he can arrange it so that it appears that all this unclaimed money is owed to me. All I have to do is agree to give him 70 percent of the proceeds, and for my trouble I can keep 25 percent, with the remainder going on expenses.
That’s a cool 25 percent of $20 million for me!
Have I ever been this lucky?
Well, no I haven’t. Never. Not once. And sadly I’m not lucky this time either.
You see I know that the General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal who emailed me isn’t the real one, this one only exists in the mind of a Nigerian crook.
I also know that this is the latest variation of the infamous Nigerian 419 scam, designed to con greedy and gullible people out of money, not give them the opportunity to make money.
And I know that if I was foolish enough to reply to General Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal all that would happen is that eventually the fictitious money transfer would run into problems that would either require me to pay some cash upfront to clear the way for the transfer (known as Advance Fee Fraud) or hand over bank account or other personal details that would allow these criminals to try to steal my money.
So will I be taking advantage of this great life-changing opportunity?
The only reason I am mentioning this at all is to highlight the scam for those who maybe have not yet fallen victim to it, and as a warning to ignore all such “opportunities”. And there are a lot of them.
So why do scams like these keep happening?
Sadly the answer is, because a lot of the time they work, and they continue to work because people are so bloody stupid!
It has been estimated that there are a quarter of a million active scammers and that they cause $1.5 billion in losses each year, an average of $20,000 per victim. Some of the victims are just greedy idiots who think they are on to an illegal windfall, but others (also idiots) think they are contributing to things like charities and orphanages. On occasion some of these hapless victims have suffered more than financial losses, having been beaten, tortured, and even murdered.
There are two rules in life that you should apply to everything.
Rule # 1, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see, and
Rule # 2, if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.
No matter how great the temptation always try to remember these.