I have this soft spot for a well-written scam letter. It contains all the triggers and addresses our dreams. The latest promised me compensation for using microsoft products, addressing the latent resentment against a company so widespread and so powerful, we all feel it owes us something. It went on to say that I would gain economic independence, all I needed to do was give my account information over the Microsoft's connection in Netherland, and I'd be a million dollar wealthier.
MICROSOFT SOURCE INTERNET SWEEPSTAKES B.V
12Z ELIZABETH WALSTRAAT
1801NZ AMSTERDAM OOST,
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS.
FROM: THE OFFICE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD DEPT
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Internet compensation promotion programs held on the 7th of March, 2005 and it is aimed at compensating frequent Internet explorers in all over the world. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number; *********** with serial number *************, batch number **********, lottery reference number ******** and drew from lucky numbers ****************which consequently won in the 2nd category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLAR) only by the Microsoft source Company, payable in cash credited to security file numbers; ************* at the Netherlands Payment Authority.
Interestingly enough, the email address of whomever I was supposed to contact ended with netscape.net.
Insert prince/minister/king for microsoft, insert money transaction for winning sweepstakes, and insert yours sincerely Prince Al Hassar Ayid Umhallan for the microsoft sweepstakes office, and you see that this email has close relatives in Nigeria.
It is still fun. Who wouldn't want a million $ in their account? I prefer the Nigerian scam in the pure form though, because it offers an additional little fantasy: After they have transferred the 12 mill $ to my account, and are about to move 11 of them on, who is to stop me from cancelling their permission to withdraw money from my account? All I need is to be quicker than them, and I will have 12 mill instead of one... Human greed and the conviction that we are smarter than them is such a good tool for those who live from our willingness to think money can come free.