Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear George. Yeah, RIGHT!

I once got an email from a Nigerian widow who had learnt that I was a wonderful person and was therefore sure that my compassion and good sense would extend to helping her move her late husband's megaNairas* from his secret cash cache, via my bank account, to somewhere else where they could be Put To Good Use for the Benefit of the Deserving (widows, presumably), thus evading the grasping claws of their corrupt children, whose venality had caused him to stash it in the first place - and with some foresight, since it appeared that the ungrateful little buggers had almost certainly taken out the contract that had resulted in his abrupt departure from earthly woes. (Honestly, kids - who'd 'ave 'em?). I was touched. But not that touched. (*Actually she wrote in dollars, and I'm just being a smartarse - so sue me in any currency you like!)

I hadn't thought about this for a very long time, not until yesterday, when a very good friend forwarded a plea from George Arlington.

I hate it when I'm obliged to scrape off the warm fuzz that camouflages a suspicious nature. But neither do I like being manipulated: send me a piece of emotional and moral blackmail chain letter larded with sanctimonious insults and barely veiled threats, and sod the warm fuzz; out come claws and fangs and who the$*!)^%* is this &%*$îng sleazeball who has set out to exploit people's kindness and compassion for his own *;=%"?!¿!¿! ends? (Key: on earth, unscrupulous, nefarious).

So I did a search on 'George Arlington leukaemia baby' and found this
BellaOnline article at the top of a page that also included this 'Sick and Missing Kids' page, which prefaces a list of known scams with this statement:
Few things tug at the heartstrings quite like stories of a child in need or,
worse, in jeopardy. It is in our nature to protect the young. Chains in this
category come in two basic, but distinct types. Sick child chain letters are
almost always bogus - they frequently promise that you can help fund their
medical care or help them realize a lifelong wish simply by forwarding an e-mail
(which you can't). Missing child chain letters, unfortunately, are very often
real, but quickly fall victim to all the shortcomings of using e-mail to
broadcast information.
Those are my italics at the end, because I received a chain letter containing photos of Madeleine McCann a few months back. It was an effort by one of her uncles to maintain awareness in Europe, because the family believed that while she could not be in Portugal, Madeleine was still in Europe. He's doing his best to help, using whatever's available.

As for 'George Arlington' and his , Fw: Leukaemia (don't delete-it's being tracked)'ll know why [Scanned], when I passed my discovery back up the chain of emails, Wendy came back with this, entitled Leukaemia (please delete-it's being tracked)..cos its crap [Scanned] (ha!). She clearly knows exactly what she's talking about, so here's what she wrote:

I must say at first sight I knew it was a hoax. Having worked in
Oncology for a few years; I am fully aware of the state of minds of people
facing these awful situations, and there is no way anyone would be finding time
or will to enter into this sort of ‘begging’ nonsense. Not only that but
in this country no child would be facing a situation like this thank

I hope everyone has good virus scanners in place because these things are
full of them. What they are about is getting email addresses of everyone
in order to sell it to companies who can then inundate you with junk

So my advice is; unless you know of the person personally, don’t forward to

For that matter when forwarding any emails always delete the previous peoples email addresses. This is considered polite email policy anyway. It is easy you just highlight all the previous senders and press delete.

These people are sick greedy b**tards and should be locked up for the scum they are.

My thoughts exactly. And considering that all I had to do to contact the EIGHTY or so other people in the chain so far - the earliest dated nine days ago -was hit 'reply all', I can see that that might well add up to a hell of a database for someone. Has anyone else heard from George? (Bless!)

Anyway, returning to the 'widow', I remember that the subject came up one afternoon (Remember the Alamo.) and it transpired that several of us had either received a similar letter, or knew someone who had. Later, there were newspaper stories. So I did a second search yesterday, this time on "Nigeria bank account hoax". There are several press reports, but mostly from 2002, so perhaps that one's had its day?

.....just like....... sniff!


dubaibilly said...

I agree with every word of that MamaDuck - I too get tired of these scams, but I also hate all the ever so twee quasi religious ones with hearts and flowers all over and the send this to 20 people and something good will happen to you in 5 days or send it to 50 and two good things will happen in 3 days - Mary Jones sent it to her 200 best friends and won the national lottery the very next day...

What a lot of bollox!

Cheers darling


MamaDuck said...

Hello you. I owe you a proper letter. Hold me to that! xxxxxxx