The Vexing, the Delightful, and a Warning

I woke up, brain sparking. Had two more ideas for things that make my head hurt. But I thought, jeesh, everyone's going to think I'm in a crummy mood if I do a Part 3. I'm not in a crummy mood, I swear. It's just the way the blog posts crumbled --or something like that--these past few days.

In an effort to balance the vexing and delightful I decided to do a post about things that make me smile. I was going to make a short list, including two blogs I visit every day for a chuckle and a lift: Ken Levine and Mary Stella. I have them, I mean read them, with my morning coffee. Although I do so with caution as sometimes sipping and laughing at the same time results in java spurting on my laptop screen or out of my nose, depending on the intensity of the snort, and that's just disgusting. But I digress.

So this morning I sip my coffee and read Ken's blog and--Ha!--how does he come up with this stuff? Then I sip more coffee, click on Mary's blog and smile thinking, that's so sweet. But then I get to the middle where she switches subjects and mentions me by way of an incident that happened to her and the subject matter of the All About Evie series (aside from a fun romance)--con artists and scams.

So now I'm back to things that make my head hurt. Only that's not quite true. I'm not vexed by this subject. I'm intrigued. My head doesn't hurt, my brain spins. When writing All About Evie I did a boatload of research on con artists and scams and that research is carrying over into book 2 and 3 (read the book blurb to learn why). By nature I am an extremely trusting person. My first inclinition is to believe what someone tells me--why would they lie? I am I learned, a grifters' perfect mark. Or at least I used to be. Now I am suspicious of everything and, not everyone, but certainly people I don't know who could have a hidden agenda. This includes telemarketers and emails from strangers.

Case in point, I received this email yesterday...

Dear Friend,
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from japan. Presently i'm in japan for investment projects with my own share of total sum. mean while, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring this funds despite that it failed us some how. Now contact my secretary in Benin his name is Mr Uzo Amaka on his e-mail address stated below ( Ask him to send you the total Amount of $950,000.00 u.s dollars which i kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touched with my secretary Uzo Amaka and instruct her where to send the check. And send her your contact information such as below
your full name .............. home address ............... phone number ............. your sex age ............... your occupation ..................
Please do let me know immediately if you receive so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time ok, In the moment, I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand . Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to instruct the courier company to deliver the cashier cheque to you as soon as you send your details information without delay.
So feel free to get in touch with my secretary Uzo Amaka he will inform courier to deliver the cheque immediately to you without any delay.


I do not know the HON William Arinze Esq. He is not my friend. In fact, he trying to dupe me. I can almost assure you that that is not his real name. The 'title' is meant to impress and add credibility. Adopting a bogus title is common in grifter land folks. On a side note, even if a title is legit, it doesn't mean that person is of noble or royal blood. Certain titles can be purchased. But I digress... again.

Because of my research, I could actually break this letter down and point out several clues as to why it is a scam. But this post is already too long. Let me just say that in this day and age, Internet Scams are HUGE. You've probably heard the term Nigerian Scam. It's just one of a few versions out there. And you may think, who falls for this stuff, but a lot of people do. People like you and me. Before I started researching scams I received an email from London saying my number had been chosen and I'd one a lottery. It was worded in a way that made me wonder, what if, because my husband and I do travel to England a lot. Did I enter a legit sweepstakes and forget? This wasn't legit though and my husband pointed out why. Later, I learned more warning signals.

Here are some basic guidelines. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is promising you money or a trip or a prize and all you have to do is contact them... this is essentially a come on. They're baiting you. If you respond they'll reel you in. There's always a catch. That catch will involve you making a small investment, although you'll be promised a HUGE return. Also never, never provide someone with personal information as did my friend, the HON William Arzine Esq. Things like this can lead to identity theft. But that's another story, er scam.

Did I make your head hurt? Since I won't be blogging this weekend due to the deadline crunch, let me leave you with something delightful, or at least something that makes me smile--Cheyenne and Billie. (Known to con me out of doggie treats daily).


Beth Ciotta said…
Well, shoot. Blogger didn't upload my picture of Billie and Cheyenne. And it also goofed with my paragraphs. When I tried to amend, it wouldn't let me in unless I switch over to NEW Blogger which I did not want to do. But now I HAVE to? Things that make my head hurt--Part 3
Beth Ciotta said…
Ah, ha. So after switching over to new blogger, I was able to fix my paragraphs, typos, and also upload my pic.

Now lets see if there's a glitch when I try to post this comment...
Beth Ciotta said…
No, glitch. Well not for me anyway. (Although I did ave to sign up for a google acount earlier) Hmmm Okay. I'll shut up now. Have a great day!
Marjorie Jones said…
I recently switched to new blogger too... I liked my old login id because it was my dog's name...but now I'm digressing.

Scams! Good lord. I once put a website up for sale on Ebay, just to see what would happen. Could I earn a few hundred dollars relatively easily. I was feeling creative so I designed a site, and all I'd have to do is add content to it when someone bought it.

Almost right away I rec'd an OFF EBAY email (first hint it's not legit) about purchasing my item. But the asking price was $500.00 and the poor guy only had a blank money order for 9000. So he would send it to me, I could cash it, take my 500 and send the rest to 'his agent'. And then he provided me with his DHL number so I could ship 'the item' to him. Item? It's a digital file I upload to his server. There IS no shipping... another clue he'd never actually looked at my 'item' at all. I honestly thought it was the mob wanting to launder money LOL... so I wrote back with a distinct instruction that I 'could' accept a money order but that it had to be for the exact amount, AND I wouldn't do anything until it cleared my bank. He writes back with "Thanks, I'll send the 9000 money order to your PO Box, etc." What? I said NO, not YES. So now, I'm really concerned that it's the mob and I'm going to join Hoffa on a permanent vaca. I call my Sheriff's office and they explained it's not money laundering, but a fake/already cashed money order and that one other person in our town fell for it a few months earlier. The owner of a convenience store, actually, and it put them out of business. So, I write the guy back saying that I don't want his money, that I'm NOT doing business with him, and that if he sends the money order to my PO Box, which I've foolishly given to him in the original email explaining that I needed the exact amount etc, that I would take it immediately to the Sheriff's office, then gave him the address where he could pick it up.

He never wrote back, and now I just delete, delete, delete. LOL
Beth Ciotta said…
Marjorie's in the house! *waving*
Good golly, woman that is some story! And a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Ack on giving him your PO Box, but it sounds like you have that handled.

The thing about con artists is that they never 'steal', they somehow TALK you into GIVING them money. Therefore it's not an actual crime. If you receive a suspect email, it's best to do as you're doing now. DELETE! Do not open a line of communication, because the great ones can talk you into believeing just about anything.
Gabriele C. said…
My favourite is that Reverend Whassaname who asked me to be allowed to 'park' the money of an old widow on my bank account because she wanted to leave it to some charity and her greedy relations wouldn't let her. 20% interest for me and I only had to give him my account pin number.

Sure Mr. Reverend. Send me the money (you can't take any off my account because there is none) and I'll hide it so well you won't ever find it again. *evil grin*
Beth Ciotta said…
Another good one--or should I say wicked one! Gads. Thanks for sharing, Gabriele. The more stories (scams) I hear, the more I'm amazed (and forewarned)!

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