The spammers are getting smarter and more creative. I’ve been sucked in a few times because, damn it, they go right for my ego.
“I love this blog,” one said. “Fantastic job.” And of course, flushed with pride, I believed it. Until I clicked on the link to the comment and found out I was visiting ‘Naked Escorts.’
The next spam comment had the absolute ring of truth: “I get a little bored reading the whole thing but your blog is unique. I’ll be back.”
Yes, my posts are too long. Who wouldn’t be bored reading them? I was ready to approve the comment until I clicked on the .com address and discovered it, too, was linked to rather explicit photographs of naked women.
Oh yes, you will be back, you little vixen, I thought. Along with your crazy Nigerian bankers and my unexpected lottery winnings.
And then this one: “The written content on this article is really one particular of the most beneficial substance that We have at any time arrive throughout. I adore your article, I will occur back again to examine for new posts.”
2010 has been an extremely lucky year for this kind of beneficence. As well as my Penguin deal, I had a lengthy back and forth with one ‘Michael Graham,’ who was irritated with my failure to respond to good news.
“Attention,” he wrote. “I will like to start with reminding you that your unclaimed inheritance is still lurking around, up till now I am amazed at the way you have ignored all the notice I have sent out to you. This message will be the last notice that I will be sending out to you. Upon the receipt of this mail I will want you to reconfirm to me your details and also tell me the reason why you have kept quiet all the while; I do believe you should have a logical answer to that.”
“Dear Michael,” I replied. “Could you possibly convert the 4 million pounds into Canadian dollars and bring it with you to the Ottawa airport, rather than wiring it to me as you have suggested? I will likely be meeting you in the company of my cousin. Please pay no attention to the yellow stripes on his pants, or his gun: all our janitors wear them.”
I received a third email from Mr. Graham, Esq., now of Ireland, advising me that the amount was actually £10,600,000.00. “We contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance. Kindly forward to us your letter of acceptance; your current telephone and fax numbers and a forwarding address to enable us file necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money.”
I decided to follow up. After all, ten million pounds doesn’t land in your lap every day.
“Michael, I am delighted to learn that the amount of my inheritance has tripled since our last correspondence. Which of my names would you like in my letter? My birth name? My adopted name? The hyphenated name I adopted before my divorce? My nom-de-plume? Or the name I use to avoid creditors? My cousin and I anxiously await your arrival in Canada. Remember your boots.”
Mr. Graham’s earlier irritation quickly vanished, given my new-found cooperation:
“Thanks for getting back to me in such a short notice, I will like for you to reconfirm to me your details like I said before, Your Full name, residential address, age, occupation, marital status and a working telephone number I can reach you on. All this process should be completed within 5 working days depending on how you respond to instructions. I will wait to hearing from you and you providing the details I requested. Do have a nice day ahead of you. Michael Graham.”
“Dear Michael,” I wrote. “I think that rather than wiring such a large sum of money to me, and leaving you to carry the expenses of this amazing windfall, it would be best and safest if you could provide me with your current address, account information and password, so that I can begin sending money to you to help defray your expenses. It would be helpful if you could ensure a balance of approximately 10,000 pounds sterling to cover any bank charges that may arise during the transfer. Looking forward to meeting you in person, as is my cousin. PS. Please include your full name, age, occupation and marital status.”
I guess at that point in time, Mr. Graham decided I was a spammer. And while I still get notifications of lottery wins and dead relatives, I don’t think they come from him. Unless he’s now in the ‘naked escort’ business. Which is entirely possible.
As this blog becomes more popular, the spam comments increase accordingly.
Sincere apologies for not catching all of them. And as for you, Mr. Graham, we’re still waiting at the airport.