Blogs » Bicycle » My new African friend: I hardly knew ye


In Part II of this three-part series, I responded (as Milburn Drysdale) to my new Ivory Coast friend who told me that her parents were murdered by wicked rebels. She needs my assistance in moving her $7.5 million inheritance out of the country. For my help, I will share in 15% of the money.

Sounds like a good deal but "Milburn" is confused. As "president of the Beverly Hills Commerce Bank," he thinks his friend wants to deposit the money in HIS bank. My friend wants "Milburn" to contact her through "the Rev. Father" and gives me his number, which I've blanked out. Read on:

My Dear,

I have just received your email with lot's of excitement, because since when I sent the long letter to you my heart has been over occupied with thoughts and fear if my situation will touch your heart to come for my rescue. I am glad now that I saw your email.

Firstly I am emailing you from the office of the Rev. Father in the refugee camp,I told the Rev. Father about my communication with you and he permitted me to access my email in his office computer twice a day, here in the refugees camp life is very difficult.

Dear you can contact me through the Rev father who is taking care of us in the Refugee camp.Here is his Telephone number XXXX XXX XXX XXX, remember to tell him that you want to speak with Gift Bernard who is staying at Female hostel 14 Room 2 he will send some one to call me. Dear, I love to send you my picture but i can't send it through here. I tried it but it didn't work. just try and send me your email address so that i shall send it to you, so that i can see how am looking like.

Sincere in your heart and assist me transfer the money into any account which you know will be safe either new or old empty or not, Though I do not have experience in international transaction so there is nothing I can do without your help, I wouldn't have bordered you if I have full access to the money within myself, because I am helpless without you, having no account and no body abroad as a friend or relation. Though I do not have money to be calling you on telephone.

But I still need your contact information, your Telephone Number and your House Address so that i will send the Contact of the Bank to you for you to contact them for confirmation and procedure for transferring the money, as we proceed in the transaction, I also want you to send to me your current picture to enable me know how you look like now.

I have prepared the letter which you will have to send to the bank, I will be sending to you by tomorrow as soon as I received your next email.

I will be waiting for next email with happiness. regards love Gift.

Well, I'm not giving her my personal contact information. Notice, she never addresses me by my (fake) name and never responds to anything I've written to her. Busy scammers don't have time to actually read emails sent to them by American suckers. "Milburn" responds:

Dear New Friend, My heart just about leapt from my throat when I received your most recent correspondence. I was so happy to hear from my new faraway friend.

I was glad to hear that you have a good relationship with a member of the clergy, the Rev. Father. He sounds like a good person. I used to attend church services when I was a young man but I was ex-communicated - kicked out of the church and told never to return. I still don't understand why loving money is wrong but the minister said I could not love money AND God at the same time, so here I am, president of the Beverly Hills Commerce Bank and rolling in dough (that's an American expression we use meaning "being very wealthy." It has nothing to do with getting horizontal with bread-making materials).

But I digress. You mentioned the money situation and I would like to help. Your money will be in good hands here at the bank. I will personally see to that. Money transfers are easy to do these days - as easy as snapping your fingers. I will have my secretary, Miss Hathaway, send you the contact information so that you can have this done.

Sorry to keep this short, but one of my largest depositors, Mr. J. Bodine, has invited me to his mansion for something called "smoked crawdads." He says it is from an old family recipe that his granny used to make for him. Wish you were here to help me out of this situation. Yours, Milburn Drysdale ("Milby")

Shortly after my last correspondence was emailed, my new friend's social network site account was cancelled. I think Milburn scared her away with talk of "smoked crawdads."

This was not a wasted effort, at least not on my part. I hope I wasted some of this Internet cafe scammer's time so she/he/it is sending fewer Nigerian bank scam emails to gullible people. Thanks for following me along this unusual path.