Sep 16, 2012

Why have they stopped wearing white collars? (reposted)

Nigerian scam poster Like everybody else, we're getting these letters from Nigeria. Here's the latest (from .pl, actually, that's Poland, I think, the full email address is: --- in case you feel the need to reply):

Please pardon me for not having the liberty of knowing your mindset before writing you this letter without any formal introduction.My name is Mr. Zaco Mohammed I am the present branch Manager in one of the Barclay's Bank here in London I write to solicit for your partnership in claiming of $15.million usd from an account at our Head Office .
The aforementioned fund $15.million usd is my share percentage from a Gold Mining project that i helped financed, influentially.
Furthermore, as a Manager in the bank, I am not allowed to be part of such a deal, because it's against my company's professional practice policy. So I am compelled to ask that you stand on my behalf and receive this fund into
any account that is solely controlled by you. I will compensate you with 35% of the total amount involved as gratification for being my partner in the transfer.
Please contact me immediately you received this mail
Yours Truly,
Mr.Zaco Mohammed

Do we have to point out what's wrong with this letter---besides the ploy? Everything is off, style ("MICHAEL"), spelling (the first person pronoun is not capitalized), interpunction (spaces between the last letter and a dot, for example), grammar ("that i helped financed"), idiomatic usage  ("for not having the liberty of knowing your mindset") etc. And it's always thus.

Who is writing these letters? In my days, we were told with great fanfare of highly intelligent---that was always the qualifier: "highly intelligent"---individuals that were cheating unsuspecting victims out of their money by means of wit, deception, guile, and other nonviolent forms of behavior, all this while the perpetrators were wearing white collars.
What happened to them? Where are they now? Why can't their successors write proper English sentences? Why can't they use a spell checker, if they have access to the internet? (Give Zaco's letter to Microsoft Word, and it flags six errors).  Why can't they fill their ranks with natural English speakers who would know better? Why have they stopped wearing white collars (we presume)?

It's a conundrum, and we don't have an answer.

PS: A retired person living on social security in Ennigerloh, Germany, receives a letter from the Bank of Nigeria, suggesting a 30 million USD payoff in exchange for a deposit of 1% (of the sum) in a specified account. He doesn't have the money, so he talks to the social security desk at the town hall. The municipality extends a loan of 300,000 USD to the retiree, who duly transfers the money to the specified account. The loan is qualified as "sozialrechtliches Darlehen." We are not making this up.

PSS: We do have an answer now, it's just like we have this Fermat feeling at the moment.

-"Talking about government waste."
-"Perry, Perry, where are you when we need you?"

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