I received an email today telling me that my tax refund was ready, and that when I gave my bank details they could deposit the amount of $528.15 into my account.
Obviously a scam, but with a fantastic twist:
What I love about this scam is that they’ve kept the amount reasonable. It was purely because of the low amount that I actually opened the email. I mean, I could totally have a refund of that amount sitting somewhere. Millions? Don’t be stupid! Thousands? I wish! But hundreds?
It was worth opening.
So, with it being the prickly end of the fortnight, I opened it.
A thousand pelicans with fire in their beaks leaped out of my computer screen, and sirens and bells and whistles deafened me with a passionate warning: It’s a scam! I closed the email, marked it as Spam and realised, sadly, that the floodgates had been opened.
I am now receiving a large amount of spam email. I have a rather hefty allocation of emails for penis enlargements and Viagra. Unless it comes in glove form, I’m not interested. But how did I go from a dodgey tax return to a limp willy? What kind of person do scammers think I am? Why am I in receipt of such a peculiar array of spam?
Let’s build a profile:
- Low income earner
- Difficulties in achieving and sustaining an erection
- Very small of penis
- Forgetful with tax returns
- Has need for medical marijuana
- Enjoys gambling, particularly on football
- Has a keen interest in supporting overseas families, particularly from Nigeria
The sad thing is this: except for the penis and the football… they’re kind of onto something here. But wait, I don’t think this is a bad thing. It’s OK with me that I’m other person minded, and that I maintained email contact with a young woman in Nigeria for some time, because I couldn’t afford to send her any money. I even made contact with local church groups to try to organise some support for her. They’re the ones who pointed out that I had been sucked in. And I’m not rich, nor am I likely to be in the near future. But I like that money holds little value for me. I like that a tax return of $528.15 would be a HUGE thing for me, and I like that when it turned out to be a scam, my world continued to function.
So, scammers, I am now wiser, more aware of your tricks and trips and tomfoolery. And while I am aware of why I get these emails, I’m going to start choosing to see it as a good thing. I’m a decent person – and yes, if I was male I probably would have weak whistle – but I choose to believe the best in people, I choose to trust, I choose to smile. And I will probably still consider believing some of what you send me. I’ll weigh it up before I open it. And depending on the time of the fortnight or the year or the month, I may open it.
But not the Viagra ones, though. I’m totally sure that I do not have a penis.
So it seems fitting to end this post with the wise words of Deborah Conway, long time lady crush and amazing Australian muso who never really got the attention she deserves: “I slid right into your hands, and you grabbed me and told me how you’d understand. Whatever I wanted to be – and I believed for a while, your believing in me. I’m turning circles again, caught in a spin. I’m a high fly trapeze to you, little worm: earth bound and dirty and still on your knees.”