Friday, January 15, 2010

Technical Assistance, Commentarama Style

Sometimes a relationship goes stale. The chase becomes tedium. The challenge is gone. You’ve said everything you have to say. Those little things you once found charming. . . they become annoying. That’s how I feel about Nigerian Scammers. Who did you think I was talking about?

I, for one, am sick of the low quality garbage these Nigerians keep sending to my inbox. They’re dull, pointless, and about as see-through as the latest Obama jobs claim lie. Blech. I miss the old days, when you looked at your inbox and you weren’t sure what was real or what wasn’t. Now it’s nothing but Spanish Lottery winners and rich widows trying to leave Africa. Come on people! You’ve got to step up your game.

So I’m going to offer some free advise to my friends from Nigeria. . . or Kenya.

The crux of the problem is this. Nobody believes that you would pick a “trusted friend” from a random e-mail. Not happening. BUT. . . people will believe that they stumbled upon something. So start with this: “Dear Harry, I have the money and am ready to send it to your account. But I need to act fast. If you were unable to open the account, then find me someone who can do this instead of you. I’m willing to share with whoever it is.”

Notice the advantages here. First, you don’t need to know who you’re talking to because your target thinks you were sending the e-mail to “Harry” and they will just assume you sent it to them by mistake. That means no more awkward e-mails to “Dearest Mr. Commentarama” or “My trusted friend flamingasshat7”. Secondly, this is believable because the target will think they’ve stumbled upon a scheme, not that you’ve offered them one. Trust me, humans are suspicious of offers that sound too good to be true (except from Congress), but they’re suckers for sneaky schemes.

Next, stop talking about lottery winnings. Everyone knows that nobody wins the Spanish lottery, not even the Spanish. And calling it the British lottery doesn’t help either. You need a better angle for where you got the money. I would suggest playing on the current strain of angry populism: “Harry, I got the TARP money from that rich greedy bank.” This has many advantages. First, banks aren’t people, they can’t feel pain so people feel no qualms about stealing from them. Secondly, some politicians reinforce this by telling us that it’s ok to take things from banks, because they’re evil and greedy. . . and foreign banks are the worst!

But if that isn’t simple enough for you, take a page from the frat party ad book. Send the following: “I’m going to shoot this panda if you don’t support ObamaCare send us $100.” Just make sure to include the picture of the panda. If you need to, substitute a baby.


Finally, get yourself an English speaker on staff. Seriously, the investment will pay for itself in days. If you’d like us to help you, just send us your account information and we’ll get right on that.

18 comments:

Writer X said...

Send us a panda? Have you no shame, Andrew? Don't you mean polar bears?

At least your Nigerian scammers make an effort. The ones I get lately are as transparent as Joe Biden.

Seriously, this post is a keeper. I was laughing for five minutes before I was able to type this comment.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Writer X! Polar bears would work too, especially with all the hype they're getting from environmentalist!

The scammers (just like their Democratic cousins) really don't put a lot of effort into their scams anymore do they? It's like they've fallen out of love with their craft.

Writer X said...

Andrew, yes, they've become as transparent as that Wildlife Fund that advertises a lot on SyFy. Heard them, lately? They usually roll out a sleep-inducing B-actor to narrate who speaks so freakin' slowly, against New Age music, pretty much telling us the world will end and polar bears are all gonna die. I got to write a post about it one of these days...

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, You should, it's highly annoying! Plus, I understand that (1) the ice pack grew 20 some percent this year, (2) polar bears are flourishing (and frolicking), and (3) B-actors are a know cause of cancer.

BevfromNYC said...

Hysterical. Though actually, Andrew, I think you have stumbled onto a new career opportunity - producing photos of baby animals doing cute things with bulleyes on them. Market them back to the Nigerians or Kenyans (or Congress)with the following -

Dear [Nigerian] friend:

Are your returns slowing down on your email solicitations? We will let you use this photo in your next email, and promise those returns will begin flowing in like never before all for the low, low investment of $100. Please send credit card number or checking account information NOW and we will email a copy of this photo to you for your exclusive use.

Thank you,
Your true Commentarama-ian Friend

For Congress, you can substitute "email solicitation" with "campaign contribution request" and "$100" with "$100 billion".

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Thanks Bev!

You may be onto something -- LOL! I can see it now, millions of solicitations or even television ads with politician after politician threatening to shoot a series of fluffy animals unless their constituents give money or vote for them. . . We could end up richer than a Nigerian prince!

patti said...

best cartoon about saving the pandas: http://www.explosm.net/db/files/Comics/Dave/comicpandazoo.png

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Your welcome! I think we could make a fortune. Wouldn't you vote for a candidate who threatened to kill kittens if you didn't vote for them?

Actually, I think Saddam Hussein might have tried this idea, but he used peoples' relatives, not cute kittens. He might be alive today if he had just used kittens...

If we play our cards right, we might even get some that stimulus money to "creat jobs" with!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'll get the stimulus application ready! LOL!

You might be right about Sadam. Grown people (especially someone else's relatives) aren't nearly as cute as fuzzy animals! "Invade my country, I kill this kitten!" The new defense plan!

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: It took me quite awhile to get rid of the Nigerian scammers. I have friends in Uganda and Ethiopia, and a straight-up spam filter from Africa didn't work, since it cut them out too. So I kept tweaking it, and finally succeeded. My spam filter now searches by name, and spaminates all suspicious names such as Barack Hussein Obama (I have it set to spaminate likely terrorists as well).

AndrewPrice said...

Barack Hussein Obama? That sounds like a spammer name to me!

StanH said...

The only thing missing from your panda picture Andrew is “Tugg Speedman.”

I wonder how many people fall for that con?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I don't know, but it must be enough that they keep sending Democrats back to Congress. . . er, that it's worth sending out these e-mail scams?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I keep getting junk e-mails from some guy named Charlie Crist. He's not in my "Nigerian scammer" spam list, and he doesn't get spaminated by the terrorist filter either. Anybody know who this guy is so I can get him on the right spam filter?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think he's a solicitor, but I'm not sure. Is he offering to sell cheap Viagra?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: Nope, just snake oil. Genuine Everglades snake oil, I think.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, LawHawk, So THAT's why they have so many boa constrictors in the swamps of the Everglades! The Florida politicians harvest them for their snake oil! Now I understand. I bet the Illinois political machine used all of it's available snakes on the 2008 election cycle...

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: Actually, the problem is that all the snakes in Illinois froze to death during the current global warming period. And now I hear that it's not exactly the usual tropical climate in the Everglades either. Next thing you know, they'll be importing illegal alien boas (aka future SEIU members).

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