$528. 15


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.”


2 responses »

  1. Hey there

    No idea if this is one of those no not reply email addresses, but here we go anyway.

    I now have that Debra Conway song stuck in my head for the day.  Will have to find it on my ipod and treat my workmates to the joy that is me singing.

    Cheers Maree


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