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.