Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Flim Flam Man

An email that I received recently said:

“You have won (£3,500.00 Million) on the Irish Lottery Promo held on the

22nd of April,2010 in Dublin, Ireland.

Send us Your Full Name:...,Address:...,Tel:...,Country for claims

Mr. Jimmy Peterson: +447035914740.

E-mail: clmsveri_dept@upimail.be

Note that you will be liable for the Cost of remitting your winnings to



Mrs. Anna Brown.

Co-coordinator Irish Lottery”

Wow! Who would have believed that it could happen to me? I don’t even remember entering or registering for a lottery and now I’m a multi-millionaire. What incredible luck I must have….. Although, I thought the Irish Lottery was in Ireland where they used the Euro(€) and not the Pound(£); and why is the email address a Belgian one and not Irish? You know now that I think about it, if someone is going to scam me they should at least try and give a good story without holes in it so that I wouldn't feel so bad about throwing away my money. What kind of clown do they take me for?
When I was younger, sometimes I would be approached by men who would say that they were just off the plane from whatever country was in the news at the time, South Africa, Guyana or someplace. They would tell me that they had given their cab driver from airport hundreds of dollars to take them to a hotel, but he had instead left them in middle of Times Square in New York, or in later years, Center City in Philadelphia with bad directions. Suddenly another man would walk up and ask if he could assist. The second man would say that he knew of a place where the visitor could stay for very little money. The first man would say that money was no object and then pull out a roll  as thick as his fist that seemed to be full of one hundred dollar bills. The second man would him and tell him that it was unsafe to show that amount of cash in public and that it should be kept in a bank. One of them would tell me how honest I looked and asked if I had an ATM card so that they could deposit the cash in my bank and maybe withdraw it at a later date with, of course, a cut taken out for myself.

Now my name isn’t Peter Parker but my Spidey senses would tingle into overdrive whenever I heard this, well at least the first 2 times that I heard it. I didn’t understand what was going on but I remembered that Mother always said you never get something for nothing, there is always a price. It was time to bolt, and I always did.

It wasn’t until I was old enough to understand what the movie The Sting was about and had seen it about 3 or 4 times on TV that I realized that I had been the mark in some sort of “Pigeon Drop” scam. Someone had tried to make me think that I could make a little more money with no risk to myself. They had tried to work on my sense of greed to see how far they could get because I looked like an easy mark.

It probably doesn’t explain why I have very little sympathy for those people who fall for swindles like the email from a lawyer somewhere in Africa or Malaysia with a dead client, or even the rich friends who were ripped off by financier Bernie Madoff who supposedly gave a 20% return on their investments without bothering to explain how it was done. I mean it’s just a con man working on the gullibility and greed of people to believe that there is something  for free where nothing exists.

So if you should ever get in touch for any reason with Mr. Jimmy Peterson or Mrs. Anna Brown or even that lawyer, tell them that I send my best but the check will not be in the mail.


  1. I must look like an easy victim too cause they've tried several times with me. Luckily I smelled the con.

  2. These folks are just the worst with these e-mails!

  3. Oh, I do love these emails! My favourite one was of the $3bn I inherited from my dead, white farm owener uncle in Zimbabwe who had been shrewd enough to put his savings into an offshore account. 10/10 for research.

    And the time my dad was approached in a petrol/gas station forecourt by a man desperately needing money for the bus to visit his ill mother in hospital. My dad very kindly offered to drive him there once he had paid for the petrol, but by the time he got back to the car, the man had left...

    Two rules which I have never broken: 1) You never get something for nothing; and 2) If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

    PS: My New Blog - http://theatremad87.blogspot.com

  4. Its sad that people try to take advantage of others. Makes you not trust anyone in the end.

  5. Eduardo - I used to think that I was the only person that people tried this on until I found out that I knew some people who actually fell for it. Now I can add one more, even though unsuccessful one.

    TGK - I used to just ignore the emails before, but now they just seem to be too numerous and annoying.

    TheatreMad87 - It's interesting how you've changed your site address and name for a 3rd time in one year. I'm sure that there must be something in that.

    You've learned well my young Padawan. If nothing else in life, people should learn and practice both of the lessons that you just stated.

    BTW I have some urgent family business to attend to in Australia. Would you like to contribute to the fund?

    Toy - Trust is a big factor in the whole thing, but I also that con men are just feeding off of the greed of their victims. If people were to stop thinking that they could get something for nothing, then the con men would have no one to prey on.

  6. I can only imagine the elation that came over you after learning that you are the recipient of millions of dollars. Oh how your life will change if you just fork over a blank check to them.

    I get those emails at least every few months, if I was foolish enough to even entertain the thought of sending them cash/wire transfer so that I can get my winnings. Just imagine how many people actually send the crooks money. Oh well.

  7. Clowns disturb me...and those clowns...were overly disturbing.

    In high school, I got got for $5 on that damn 3-card Molly...or whatever it's called. After that, never again. I don't even play slots in Atlantic City...well now...Biloxi LOL

  8. Bloopty - It takes me a while but sometimes I get it. I had forgotten how some people are frightened by clowns. I never have had any feelings towards them one way or the other.

    As for the 3-Card Monty game, yes I've been bitten by that as well although I think I lost $20 back when $20 was $20. But I learned my lesson and never looked back.

    Nowadays I can easily do a casino because the way I look at it. I see it more as entertainment rather than gambling since I don't expect to win and the way I play it turns out to be cheaper than a show.

  9. - Those emails are hilarious.

    - I usually give people the benefit of the doubt when they're in need, as a few bucks won't kill me. Something similar to what TheatreMad87's dad experienced, as I was pulling out of my driveway: "My son just got in an accident, and I need bus or taxi money to get there". Claimed he worked at the nearby university (and even had the ID card hanging around his neck). I gave him $20, enough to catch a taxi to the hospital. After all, I would hope someone would help me if I were in some dire need like that.

    Mind you, this is Wynnewood (you live in Philly, so you know the surrounding suburbs, I presume?). You tend to remember people who hit you up for money in this part of town...

    All is well until about 4 months later, and the same guy showed up, this time as I was pulling into the driveway. Same guy, with an ID tag, and the same story! I was like, wow, you had the nerves! Suffice to say, I didn't give him any money for lack of creative storytelling skill.

    Then there was a lady who needed gas for her car. Unfortunately for her, I love cars and I know cars inside and out. She shouldn't have her key in the "ACC" mode, such that all the gauges were working, and I could see that the gas tank was actually 3/4 full.... I just laughed and walked away.


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