In a Sow’s Ear 12-7-09
Do you own a computer and do you actually use it for e-mail, gmail, hotmail, yahoo … or any of those forms of free communication (currently free, but wait awhile. The big boys will figure a way to tax your usage. It’ll start with a small pittance – remember 3-cent stamps)?
But I digress. If you use e-mail communication, you are probably bombarded with strange messages from strange places sent by slick con-artists. Con artists: Those persons whose focus, professions, interests, passions and goals are to swindle, defraud, rip off, cheat and/or do a deliberate disservice to others. The use of the Internet and e-mails have opened up an entire new garden of possible scams for the ingenious con. One wonders if there’s a dues-paying organization for con men and women. Do they have annual conventions where they share their success stories? Do they hold workshops in ripping off the public? Is there an award for the best con-of-the year?
Some of the stings are semi-entertaining in terms of depth of silliness. Like the poor souls sprinkled around the globe who have horrible, putrid, debilitating, fatal diseases and they have a gazillion dollars in a secret stash – and they want to leave all to you. (Talk about spreading the wealth …) Just send your name, address and bank account number and by tomorrow you will be the recipient of riches beyond your most extravagant dreams.
These assorted hoaxes abound and keep coming. My question: Who actually falls for such claptrap? I’d like to meet those people, do a study and find out what traits they have in common. Is a sucker born that way or does he or she have to be trained? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Cowboy Clyde wants to know because he received an e-mail from his horse-wrangler friend, Hank. In the subject line, the words read: Emergency! I Need Your Help!
Now, Clyde and Hank have been working hands on the same ranch for a number of years. In fact, at that moment they were in Hank’s pickup. Clyde had his laptop open and was intent on checking his e-mail. He was a tad surprised to read that Hank was in England attending a program called Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS and Lack of Education. The message went on to spell out in peculiar syntax how Hank had lost his wallet, but a pile of money was in his hotel room and all Clyde had to do was wire Hank $2,500.00 to get ol’ Hank out of his jackpot. Naturally, Hank would repay Clyde the moment he got back to the States.
“Hank,” said Clyde, “says here yer in England needin’ a loan. Reckon I should answer yer message?”
“Shore, why not,” said Hank.
Dear Hank, typed Clyde,
Sorry to hear you’re such a broke down old goat. I ain’t got 2,500 in actual money, but I’ll be glad to wire you a frequent flyer coupon. Hope yer enjoyin’ that there lack of edjication program. Them England fellers are hard to unnerstan’, but don’t let that hold ya back none. If’n you kin edicate a bronky mustang, ya shouldn’t have no trouble breakin’ in them English boys.
And don’t bother ’bout powerin’ up them racin’ kids. Leave the littler ones do the jockeyin’ and the big ones do the bull-doggin’. As fer fightin’ racin’, you ain’t never moved fastern’ a turtle lessen yer a-horse back. Be real careful ’bout that HIV/AIDS, too. Stick with hamburgers.
See ya when ya git back,
P.S. Whilst yer there in the U.K., Hank, wouldja take a pitcher of the Queen’s Corgi’s? I’m needin’ a new stockdog. I hear them little buggers are good herders.
Clyde hit the Send button. So far, there’s been no reply.
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