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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good News! I'm Gonna Be A Multi-Millionaire!!

I'm down with a cold, but the good news is that I went to the post office today and got a letter from Mrs. Kate K. Moroka, whose husband is (quote) "BARRISTER Andrew J. Moroka from South Africa." It seems Mrs. Moroka, who informs me she and her husband have two kids, is the manager of vault services in charge of the foreign remittance department at an African bank. Some poor soul, Mrs. Moroka tells me, died with his entire family in "a ghastly plane crash in Tanzania" in 2005. Before his death, he deposited 77,700,000 U.S. dollars in her bank's vault, and...glory be!...his wife's surname was the same as mine! So Mrs. Moroka is offering me a business proposition that involves my getting some percentage of this money because my name is the same as the maiden name of the poor soul's wife. In inspecting this letter, I notice that the postage stamps are from Tanzania in spite of the fact that Mrs. Moroka's husband THE BARRISTER works in South Africa. I guess Mrs. Moroka and THE BARRISTER imagine me to be something of an idiot. Turns out I've had a bit of education and am aware that Tanzania is pretty far from South Africa...like, 1,500 miles. That would be like my living in upstate New York and my husband living in Cuba (well, maybe the Marokas are having marital issues). Nonetheless, how exciting! There's an abandoned 7.7 million dollars sitting around in Africa with my name on it!!

Mrs. Moroka goes on to say that due to reasons of confidentiality, not to mention her important position at the bank, she wants to speak with me personally but doesn't want me to call her. Instead, she wants me to send my contact information by fax -- full name, address, and telephone numbers  -- to THE BARRISTER in South Africa, at which point he'll forward this information to her and she'll give me a jingle to discuss this important transaction. She "demands" my "ultimate honesty, cooperation, and" (oops) "confidentiality." She further "guarantees" me "that this process would be executed under a legitimate arrangement" that would protect me from "any breach of law." She even includes a link to the news story about the tycoon and his family who died in the crash, Alan Williams, and his wife Sue. Indeed, Mr. and Mrs. Williams, wealthy candle company people, did tragically die in a plane crash in Tanzania in 2005. There it is, the link to a true story! I guess this must be on the level!!

Okay. Sarcasm aside. These dopey correspondences usually arrive via email, but astonishingly "Mrs. Moroka" has somehow gotten hold of my physical address and is now busily sending me actual mail, on actual paper in an actual envelope. I must say, I was surprised today when I opened this letter. These con artists are now using the U.S. postal service to try to bilk people out of their life savings, or whatever it is they accomplish in their "abandoned money" scams. There's a part of me that's almost tempted to contact THE BARRISTER and start the process just to see how far it goes, and how long it takes them to ask me for my bank account numbers, investment account numbers, ATM card number, credit card number, social security number, security codes, passwords, PINs, and mother's maiden name. When they think the hook has been sunk, what's next? Is it a simple "give us your bank account number and we'll transfer the funds" scam so they can in turn shift all my hard-earned money to their own account, or is there more? Then again, what more could there be? They're criminals, and sloppy ones at that. They want my money and hope I'm greedy and stupid enough for them to get it. Seacrest out.

Ah well, I guess I'll let it go. I'm sneezing and sniffling and miserable, and the letter was an entertaining diversion for a few minutes. At least I got some nice stamps from Tanzania.

19 comments:

I'll come up with something said...

Mrs. Maroka may have learned a great deal about making promises and assurances by studying political campaigns.

Sigmund said...

"Seacrest out"? Is that radio code or a Freudian slip?

Kathleen Yasas said...

Well Sigmund, maybe you missed the reference because they don't show American Idol in heaven.

sigmund said...

I cannot decipher that response, the references are too abstract. Is the tone peevish?

Kathleen Yasas said...

Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol, says "Seacrest out!" at the end of the show. I put it in the column as a way of saying "there's nothing more, they're just criminals trying to get money, Seacrest out." Another way of saying over and out I guess. Why would it be a Freudian slip? As for being peevish...no, but Sigmund Freud would be, you know, DEAD. Assuming Sigmund isn't your real name. If it is, well........sorry.

Sigmund said...

Thank you for the clarification.....I have heard of American Idol and the dashing Ryan (hence the S.F. reference), but I've never watched it. I foolishly thought you had accidentally typed an anagram of "secret's out"......should have known you'd never juxtapose letters AND miss an apostrophe.

Bernice said...

"Seacrest Out" is a reference to radio transmission jargon. "Out" means "End of Transmission".

Anonymous said...

Juxtapose?

Anonymous said...

I think you mean transpose.

Kathleen Yasas said...

Good grief. Everybody's more interested in Seacrest Out than the fact that somebody from Africa is trying to hustle me for money...

Dasher said...

I agree, Ms. Yasas, with your last comment. Which could be a sign of the times...trying to con someone out of their hard earned money obviously takes a distant second to the English language and the usage thereof. OR the people responding to the language usage are smart enough to know that whether a letter, an email, or communication by pigeon regarding "give me your bank numbers and I'll send you X amount of money" is so obviously a scam, that this can be ignored. Unfortunately, there are people out there busily responding to the email, letter, etc., and willing to give up their ID for the promise of riches. That is sad, and THIS should be the focus of the comments to your blog, not the fact that you said "Seacrest Out".

Prancer said...

Ok, Pat. Whatever.

Santa said...

If you reindeer keep arguing I'm going to have to put you up on the "wanted" wall during deer season.

Vixen said...

I sold Mrs. Maroka your address for 4 cents.

Dasher's good friend, Dancer said...

Dear Prancer: A couple of comments regarding your post. First, "whatever" is one of the most overused, nondescriptive terms in the English language that seems to mean, at least to me, "I don't know what to say, or I don't have the language skills to say what I mean in a succinct, thoughtful manner, thus I'll simply use "whatever." Second, your "whatever" seems to dismiss anything that I said, leading me to believe that one's opinion should not be voiced. What a sad state of affairs when someone can't give their opinion without others dismissing said opinion out of hand. Merry Christmas, Prancer.

Comet, Prancer's lover, said...

That's it. I'm putting a star on your barn.

Prancer said...

I can be quite dismissive of people who tear into others for asking a simple question.

Blitzen said...

I've received a couple of phone calls in the last 2 days from very pleasant and courteous people, a "Dave" and a "Sharon". Sharon wanted to ask me a few questions for a survey, along the lines of "where do you get your news....the newspaper, the internet, or television?" and "How do you pay your bills, credit or debit card, check, or online?" I answered each question with a word and after 4 or 5 she thanked me and said that in appreciation for my help she would like to send me a small gift card to Lowes or Walmart. Realizing that this had all been much too quick and easy to warrant a gift of any size, and sensing that she REALLY wanted my mailing address, I allowed that no gift was necessary. "Sharon" hung up instantaneously and without a word...obviously eager to gather more information for her survey.
"Dave" was very friendly and polite, too, though I am probably less susceptible to male schmoozing than female. This, coupled with the fact that the secretary at work had called to warn me that Dave "the electrician" had called her several times, seemed unwilling to identify a company that he worked for, and seemed too keenly interested in finding out HER name. Oddly, Dave seemed to know both MY first name and my bosses first name, and had also been pressing the secretary to speak with us. I suspected that this was why my phone had been ringing for 2 days, displaying a mysteriously "restricted" number. Sure enough, a couple hours later it rang again and I picked up to find "Dave" on the other end, speaking in syrupy tones that he wanted to make sure we had his new toll free number and that he would be forwarding his company's new catalog THAT VERY DAY! I asked what company he worked for and he was ready with "United" and when I asked if we had done business in the past, he said "we supply electrical stuff...lightbulbs and ballasts...you know.." I assured him that we would be looking forward to receiving his catalog and he said, "I'd like to include a gift card to Walmart with the catalog, which I said would be very nice, and then Dave said, "Just let me get your home address, so I can make sure the card goes directly to you." This, of course, rang a bell in my head. I told him to just include the gift card with the catalog (He had the company address), and he said he would do exactly that, but he would just be needing the EXACT SPELLING OF MY LAST NAME. I told him to simply put the company name on the gift card and he said, "That is exactly what I'll do, if you could just give me the EXACT SPELLING OF YOUR LAST NAME". I refused. He offered to connect me with the "Ordering Department" (I suspect that may have been his other ear) if there were any supplies I thought I needed at that very moment. I couldn't think of anything, told him so, and he assured me again that the catalog was on it's way, and wished me happy holidays so effusively that I liked him all over again. I imagine at the end of the day, these people exchange their address lists with Mrs. Maroka and others like her, swapping or buying and selling for pennies in a huge campaign to dupe people out of as much money as possible. I'm doing my best to make sure that their little secret's OUT.

Kathleen Yasas said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm going to post this week as a "heads up" to others. Some people, sadly, fall for this stuff. I know one woman who was asked for her bank account info after a long convincing conversation with someone, hung up, realized immediately her mistake, and by the time she got the bank on the phone her account had been emptied.

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum