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The Internet Files - Day Five: Scam Sandwich.

"Send me pounds English please!"

Millionaire banker Ali Buba of Burkina Faso, personally contacts me via email. He tells me he is currently in charge of a 25 million dollar account belonging to a recently dead-by-plane-crash doctor; leaving his monies, homeless. Mister Buba offers me a business opportunity to split the millions between us, 50/50; I guess if he took it all himself, it may come across as dodgy. All he needs are my personal details – including credit card and bank details; so he can transfer the funds, and all I have to do is sit back and let that money roll right in. I reply to Ali Buba and write six simple words; how do you sleep at night…

An Indian lady calls my home phone; telling me she represents my “internet service provider” – her exact words. She informs me a serious virus has infected my personal computer, and I must enter vital information she has available, in order to clear it. In a fake naive voice, I respond with a question I already know the answer to “Oh? That IS a shame. Tell me, which internet provider am I with again?”. “You’re computer is infected, we need you to enter some information to fix it.” she responds. “Yeah, I gathered that. But being from my internet provider, you’d at least know the name of the company you work for?” For the next few minutes, her response repeats on auto-pilot, until my tone changes to one of honest amusement “You’re just one of those dirty scamming bastards, aren’t you. Have you ever considered some of the people you screw over, are barely able to survive as it is? Also, Slumdog Millionaire is fucking overrated! At best, I'd give it two out of five japatis.” There is no reply. Before I hang up on this obvious of scammolas, I say six simple words to her; how do you sleep at night…

My brother’s single and distinctly average 60-year-old neighbour, spends a month speaking through MSN messenger to a “British RAF general”, based in Nigeria; he is enamoured with everything about her, and plans to fly-over with British Airways and meet for the first time; on Christmas Eve. Only, there is an issue with his flight, and he needs her to send him £1000 pounds English. She never questions why an RAF general - stationed by his own nation, needs to buy a commercial flight home. Or why a Brit would refer to his own currency as “£1000 pounds English”, but she still sends the money. A few days later, and with no RAF general yet on British soil, he tells her he is having flight issues, and needs more pounds English. It takes her nephew’s IP address knowledge to expose the grim reality; she has been the victim of a classic “sweetheart scam”. Somewhere in Nigeria, an amoral scumbag is £1000 pounds English richer, and I ask myself the question; how do they sleep at night? A week later, my neighbour informs my brother there is a new man in her MSN messenger life; an American colonel. Suddenly I lose all sympathy; as the classic 'fool me twice' philosophy, springs to mind...

For all these perpetrators, the internet is merely an extension to the way they act in the outer world; only, easier to hide in. As human beings, they represent variations of greed, ignorance, immaturity, selfishness, and souls devoid of any compassion; caring not for the effects of their actions. And yet, like a scum-of-the-Earth rapist, or corrupt politician, convince themselves their acts are entirely justified. And covered in all these warm blankets of delusion? That is how they sleep at night.

If you ever go online, or in the real world, and feel something is too good to be true? It usually always is.I just hope for my brother's neighbours sake, the colonel wasn't working for KFC; they are con-artists of a whole other level...

Lee.

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