Another reprised column from my newspaper days,this one involving unsolicited e-mail solicitations. The column was written in 2005, but remains timely as ever, don't you think?
I get a lot of e-mails. Most of them are junk. Some, though, warrant a response.
Here is one that qualified, followed by my reply:
I am writing you this letter with due respect and heart full of tears.
We have not met previously but I am asking for your assistance after I have gone through a document that speaks so good of you.
I am Miss Kumbo, 21, from Liberia, but at the moment staying in the refugee camp here in Dakar, Senegal due to the war problems in my home country. I need your assistance towards helping me to retrieve my late father’s financial inheritance presently in a financial firm, and transfer it to your personal account.
My most important concern is for you to assist me (in coming) to your country to continue my education.
The amount is $9.3 million. I had occasionally called the financial company for the release of the funds to me and they told me that due to my refugee status I cannot alone process it.
Rather, I should look for an aged foreign representative to apply for the release.
As soon as I hear from you we shall discuss your percentage . . . Please e-mail me through my personal e-mail: . . .
Best Regards, Kumbo.
First off, I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my mother about a year ago, so I can sympathize. Our circumstances differ on one major point: Mom didn’t leave me $9.3 million. My inheritance turned out to be two frying pans, some Tupperware and a ’93 Mercury Sable that needs a water pump.
Your status as a refugee evokes sympathy since I, too, am a refugee. I had to leave my native Mississippi when I said, in a moment of reckless candor, that NASCAR was boring.
I am surprised that you have documents that portray me favorably and can only assume the document you refer to is not The Letters to The Editor section of this newspaper.
As I understand your email, you want my help in getting into this country. Getting into this country, especially Arizona, does not appear to be difficult. I suggest you concentrate instead on getting into Mexico. It's a snap from there.
As for your desire to have $9.3 million deposited into my account, my only reservation is that it may cause several bank tellers to suffer coronaries when they see that my account has a balance above $1.97. But I'll risk it.
Tell the financial firm to send me a check right away.
By the way, I am surprised to discover that refugee camps now offer Internet access. A sign of the times, I suppose. Do you have Starbucks, too?
Anyway, I’m happy to help. After all, what are aged foreign representatives for?