Some spam I get is hilarious and well worth the irritation. For example:
Try Penis Enlarge Patch once and be happy for the rest of your life.
“Once” ? Really? That is one hell of a patch.
But other spam I get is much more subtle and sad. For example:
Hi there Erika.
I m contacting on your interest in adopting a baby from Africa.so for more information get back to me as soon as you can
I almost deleted it, but instead I decided to see how far I could get him to go and how much of his scam I could get him to reveal. I responded:
Sounds interesting — tell me more.
Very quickly I got 2 messages from him:
Thanks for the mail. I will get back to you soon.
Thank you very much for your response. My name is Michelle and I am a Birth Mother and Adoption Professional working at catholic mission. I would like to talk with you briefly to make sure leslie and blandin fulfills what you are looking for. When you get a few moments,please in making things progress more smoothly. Also, we will need to send you a packet of information to fill out so that you can begin working with an Adoption Specialist.
WE NEED A BRIEF REASON OF ADOPTING A CHILD AND HOW WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF HER/HIM.WE ARE LOCATED IN CAMEROON FROM WHERE THE BABIES ARE COMING FROM.AFTER YOU HAVE FILL THE FORM,I WILL SEND TO YOU SOME PICTURES OF THE AVIALEBE CHILDREN FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR CHOICE,SO GET BACK TO US FOR MARE INFORMATIONS.
See the first part of the scam yet? “SOCIAL SUCURITY” — they’re no dummies. They even mis-spell it so you might think “Oh hell, they just have to be for real.” I mean yeah, it is funny that they added “SIZE” and “COLOR” as questions, but overall this is awful. So I wrote back:
I’d love to see the pictures, thanks.
And this is what arrived:
Hi there Erika,Thanks for mailing back,
Attach are some of the pictures of the babies,so you will have to mack your choice,and get back to us,and please we will need the information that were send to you.hope you will love the pics get back to us as soon as you can.
I was so floored by the photos (I whited-out the eyes) that I guess I didn’t respond quickly enough. I got another note from him:
Hi there,i m still waiting to read from you.
get back to me as soon as you can.
So I said:
I’m curious about how much this will cost — I don’t know if I can afford to do it. Also, what are the rules about adopting from Cameroon? Is there any official paperwork to take care of? And how soon could I bring a child home?
To which he replied:
In this adoption , we real do not give a specific price, we just need a home for the shelter for our kids and any one who will care for them while they grow as their children. but you have to make a choice of what you have and you consider that from the age he/she is now what expenses we have involved in and you compensate us. so i will like to ask. what do you have to offer in having baby please do not be afraid to say it just make a proposal and we will see what we can do. we don’t sell children as one cannot sell Gods creature for it is above our carriage. so we need just a compensation from you considering the cater of the child.if you are ready baby now,it will take about 3weeks for you to have the baby at your home okay.so get back to us with what you have for the baby,so that we can stat the paperwork asap.
Thanks and waiting to read from you
The next day he said:
Hi there Erika,
I m still waiting to read from you.
Thanks and stay bless
And at the point I lost all credibility as an investigator because I just couldn’t stomach corresponding with him anymore. Especially because I know the next steps. I would offer some money, it would miraculously be enough. But when the time got closer and closer there would be paperwork fees, travel fees, and so on. And what do you know, the child would never appear.
At least that’s how it works with the classic “Free Puppy from Cameroon” scam that he and many others are also working.
Christ, does he think no one will google his email address? The sad part is that that is all I had to do to discover exactly how he was going to try to scam me, but inevitably he’ll find someone who doesn’t do that and will get their money.
I had intended to get deeper into this, but it turns out that I just don’t have the fortitude for it. It made me physically ill every time I dealt with him. What a depressing situation.