Anyone here want to admit to being stupid? Show of hands? Anyone?
Well, I'm certainly not going to shy away from admitting I am, ON OCCASION, stupid. Not an unlearned, ignorant type of stupid. Nor the, WON'T learn type of stupid, either. I mean "stupid" in the mildest form of its definition. As in, "Wow! Didn't see that coming!" It happens to all of us. We get blind-sided from time to time by things, even people, we didn't expect it from. Even the "Okay, I SO screwed that up! I can't believe how stupid I am!" kind of stupidity strikes us all from time to time. Every one of us has moments we'd like to take back and, like a kid in grade school, shout "Do Over!" Or, for those of us from the VCR-era, hit the Rewind/Erase button of life!
But, there are people out there who work off the assumption that everyone else is stupid and they are brilliant. People who con others out of time, money, even property. The really good ones, you never see it coming and don't even know it's happened until it's too late. They're that good. Even when something starts to set off that little "this is not right" alarm in your brain, they can effortlessly charm and/or explain it away in a manner that seems plausible. Well, plausible until after the fact, when we look back on it and wonder why we fell for it in the first place.
My favorite type of con artist is the one you can see coming a mile away. Problem is, they're few and far between. And usually found on the internet in your e-mail. Yes, the ever exciting 'YOU HAVE WON OUR ONLINE LOTTERY PROMO!' e-mail just landed in my box not 30 minutes ago. Oh, there's a couple others I love, too. There's the "I am a bank official at a bank in (insert African nation of choice) and I want to ask you to help me move millions of (so called) unclaimed dollars out of here before the government takes it all away!" Or, perhaps, they got your name by talking to an official at an Embassy party while they were in New York (a doctor I worked for actually got that one in snail-mail). Oh! And what about the man dying in a hospital (the last one was in London, England!) and he wants to send me his millions of Pounds to dispense to various charities so his wicked, shiftless relatives don't get their hands on it! I actually played with this one a bit. I mean, honestly, folks, why would any SANE person offer to send an ABSOLUTE STRANGER money of any type, let alone millions!? I asked Mr. English Citizen why he didn't go to his lawyer and have him, oh, say, write up a will? I'm sure they have wills in England, same as here in America. I'm sure the law states a will has to be complied with in England, same as here in America. The law's funny that way. You're supposed to obey it, y'know?
Anyway, I took leave in my reply to Mr. EC to doubt he was actually in a hospital, never mind a millionaire. I actually got back a picture of some man of vaguely Arabic decent sitting on some sort of bench/stool in a hospital gown, a small table holding a lap top on it and various tubes looking like they were running up his nose and into his arm. He was really quite wired up. I was impressed. For a con, they were working this one hard. Thought they'd found a live one, I guess. I offered to gladly give them my bank information to transfer those millions of Pounds as soon as they could send me that promised percentage, up front, so I'd know they were legitimate because, if they were NOT legitimate, I was going to turn them over to.... well, I think I made up some scary sounding branch of the FBI that I was going to send it to. For some reason, I never heard from Mr. EC again.... O.o* (innocent Bambi-eyes)
**quick aside.... if you ever do decide to play with one of these idiots... which I don't really recommend, it just shows they've reached a legit e-mail, but IF YOU DO!... tell them you want them to route it to a special account you've set up just for this money since, obviously you don't want the government of (insert favorite African nation) finding it, let alone the US government's IRS since they'll just want to tax it. They can just transfer it to The West Bank of The Mississippi under the name Buddy Yu bin Touk. That's another one that gets them to leave you alone (hahahaaaahahahahaha!)
...okay, back to our story in progress**
These sort of internet cons continue because there is a plethora of stupid people .... no, let me re-type that.... STUPID PEOPLE! out there. People who truely believe that someone in a foreign country dug around until they, *gasp*, found them and that person just knows they are writing to an honest and upright person, God bless you! (as if invoking God's name somehow makes the e-mail legit!?!) I'd say "Use some good old common horse sense, folks!" but sense isn't so common anymore, stupid horse-brained masses!