O Nigeria, land of bounteous unpaid inheritances and altruistic functionaries, you have made me a millionaire so many times over. An email I received recently:
Subject: Immediate Release of Your Unpaid Inheritance Fund.
for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
1 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 USA.
I am humbly using this medium to notify you that your unpaid Inheritance, Lotto Winning OR Compensation payment of US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria has been irrevocably approved to be release to you. We have assigned Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited to pay this US$10.5 Million to you as soon as possible. Your Payment Approval Number is UN1829738. Your US$10.5 Million will be released to you on a special method of payment called “ATM SWIFT MASTERCARD Payment”. This method of payment is designed by United Nations and Keystone Bank to make sure you receive the fund without disclosing your bank details to anyone over the internet.
The Keystone Bank will issue you an ATM MasterCard which you will use to withdraw this US$10.5 Million from any ATM Machine in your country. You are hereby advised to contact the ATM Manager of Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Osas Eke on his open access email: [REDACTED] @Gmail.com and send him your Payment Approval Number WB82973 enable him issue you the ATM MasterCard without any delays.
Thanks for adhering to this instructions.
for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief.
Thanks for taking the trouble to write, Valerie! I have a few questions, though.
1. You seem a bit unsure if the payment of US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria is for an inheritance, for winning the lottery or for compensation. A relative died recently, he had a lottery ticket in his pocket and I sued the shopkeeper for allowing an anvil to fall on my relative’s head while he was buying a lottery ticket, so the payment of US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria could be for any or all of these things. Please clarify.
2. Of course “disclosing your bank details to anyone over the internet” is stupid, everyone knows that. But why does the ATM manager of Keystone Bank (Mr. Osas Eke) use a Gmail account for his professional transactions? Also, why is your UN email address being routed via a .jp (Japanese) domain? I guess the United Nations is just cosmopolitan! Of course I can trust somebody who works for the UN, right?
3. I’ve discovered that some ATMs won’t even give me £5, £10, €5 or €10 notes because they’ve run out. I’d love to know the location of machines that are able to dispense US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria cash. Wouldn’t that take a really long time, since the slot the money comes out of is quite small? What kind of bag or container would I need in order to take away US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria bank notes? One time I was at the cash machine paying in a cheque, taking out some cash and checking my balance and the lady behind me got really annoyed because she was in a hurry or something. Imagine taking out US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria from the machine!
4. I’m flattered and gratified that the United Nations recognised my need for Emergency Relief in the form of an inheritance, especially to the tune of US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria. I mean it’s really cool of Ban Ki-moon to sign it off and everything, but I’m curious– did the UN have something to do with the horrible death of my relative by anvil? How else would I receive my inheritance, if not by his untimely death? He’s not Wile E. Coyote, he’s not coming back from that. I thought the UN’s department for humanitarian affairs dealt with refugees, the victims of famine, war and whatnot. Do they all get US$10.5 Million Dollars in Nigeria too? If so, this is a brilliant scheme and very soon nobody in the world will have to live in poverty! Lovely.
5. My friend says these spam emails are transparently stupid on purpose because they act as a kind of negative filter, i.e. that only a truly idiotic and/or greedy person would fall for them. They’re meant to seem transparently ridiculous to an intelligent and worldly person. Anybody with a jot of common sense refuses to engage with the spammers, thereby leaving only the thickest of the thick to be preyed upon.
So anyway, my question is this: How soon can Mr. Osas Eke of Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited issue my ATM MasterCard?
(More beautiful spam.)