So, today I got one of the e-mail scam letters. Here it is:
From: Miss Nora Konate
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which am intend to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life
I can confide on you for the brighter future of my life since you are a human being like me. But what i need from you is Truth, Trust And Honest
There is this huge amount of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand united states dollars. ($5.500.000.00) which my late Father Deposited for me in the security finance bank here in Abidjan Cote D'ivoire as his next of kin before he died out of sickness
Now" am decided to invest these money in your country or anywhere safe enough for security and political reasons
I want you to help me to transfer my inheritance money into your personal account in your country for investment purposes on these areas:
2). the transport industry
3). Five star hotel
4). Real Estate
5) company enterprise
If you can be of an assistance to me, i will be pleased to offer to you 20% Of the total fund.
I will be humbly waiting your soonest response.
Miss Nora Konate
Of course, I roll my eyes and hit "delete." But, wait, if these scams weren't working on some level, somewhere, they wouldn't still be around. So, probably every 1 million or so and they suck some poor soul in. And, all too often, it is a person who is not well.
My father, who raised us to know that "there's a sucker born every minute" and don't let it be you, and "if it sounds too good to be true, then it isn't," etc., etc., was one of the wisest and cheapest people I'll ever know. In spite of that, in his retirement he got taken BIG TIME by telephone telemarketers. He was in the early stages of dementia and it affected the part of his brain that controls judgment, reason and money I guess. It all happened so fast, and that's how these scoundrels run things. Once they get a fish on the line, they run with it as quickly as they can before a family member figures it all out.
By the time we got a hold on things, over $50,000 was gone. And, this was from a man who was living in a home with his wife and who had 4 adult children paying attention to the both of them. It made me realize if it could happen to my Dad, it can happen to anyone.
Being the bull dog that I am, I went completely berserk on those telemarketers, contacting the Attorneys General in every state where they were located and harassing them until they relented and returned funds. As a result of my insanity, major telemarketing rings in California, Utah and Florida were raided and shut down. I even ended up on TV, being interviewed in our home by a Boston TV Station. All of this I did with a baby on one hip and a toddler holding onto my pant leg. I'm not labeled indomitable for nothing.
I decided to write about this because I am certain that the e-mail I received went out to millions of others, and there is going to be one of the recipients who gets pulled in and victimized. If you have elderly parents that use the internet, show this to them, explain it to them. Humans are by nature so trusting, and that is a wonderful thing. Shame on those who take advantage of our trusting spirits.
There are so many other stories to put to paper, as this incident was just the beginning of a journey. My father's dementia worsened quickly and shortly thereafter my mother was struck with Alzheimer's. Therein began a challenge for my family, as we took care of our parents as best we could. For me, it coincided with raising our children, who were 6 months and 2.5 years old at the beginning of the journey and 9 and 11 years old at the end. Often when I reflect on those years, I have no idea how we got through them, but we did, and are undoubtedly better people because of them.