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My First Obama-related E-mail Scam:

You had to know it was coming; here's what I found in my inbox a few minutes ago. Thirty million dollars, and he can't even spell "Barack Obama"! But note: this proposal"is not like scam mails that is being sent in the internet by Africans." Why am I not convinced?

Hello and good day,

I am contacting you because of the confidentiality and urgency that this mail demands. My name is Montgomery Levi James, a Citizen of United States of America and an ex military man. I know that this mail might come to you as a surprise since we do not know each other in the past but accept it as act of destiny. This proposal is not like scam mails that is being sent in the internet by Africans.

My reason for contacting you is to assist me and also partake in this life time opportunity that presented itself right now. Please do not delay in responding to this mail because time is of utmost importance to our success.

I was privileged to be part of silent campaigners for the newly elected president of United States of America Barrack Obama. Right now that the election is over there is an outstanding donation in the tune of $30M which is privately deposited with Military Relief Group.

I have set the machinery for the smooth release of this fund by processing all legal documents in a neutral name like yours in place. I cannot do this on my own because it is going to raise dust and I do not want anybody to know about this fund or have it traced in my account or name. Be informed that with your participation it is 100% risk free and I am assuring you that your interest will be protected at all times even in the future.

For your assistance and participation you will receive 30% of the total amount. Please contact me on my private email address for confidentiality on (j.mery@live.com)

When I hear from you I will give you more details regarding this project and your role that will guarantee us the needed success within the limited time frame which will not exceed ten working days.

Include your direct telephone for easy communication.

Yours faithfully, Montgomery James Levi (RTD)

Anon321:
My name is Montgomery Levi James,
. . .
Yours faithfully, Montgomery James Levi (RTD)

You have to admire the attention to detail.
11.10.2008 2:40pm
gee mail (mail):
In this case, I think RTD is short for retarded.
11.10.2008 2:49pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
This proposal is not like scam mails that is being sent in the internet by Africans.



Fed's law #4: In any communication in which the author seeks in the first paragraph to assure you that he is not a crook, or not crazy, he is, in fact, a crook and/or crazy. (c.f. E. Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart ("TRUE!--NERVOUS--very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! but why will you say that I am mad?")

Not to be confused with Fed's law #5: If the new client insists on showing you pictures of himself with famous people during your first meeting, he or she (1) is crazy and (2) will not pay your bills.
11.10.2008 2:50pm
pete (mail) (www):
Its good that all those foreign campaign donations to the Obama campaign are going back oversees.

So what do plan to do with your share of the money?
11.10.2008 2:53pm
BT:
Hey 9 million dollars is a lot to pass up (.3 X 30,000,000). What's to lose? If this turn out to be a scam (highly unlikely in my view) I am sure our beloved congress will make good on the debt.
11.10.2008 2:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
Considering how dumb I hear Obama is, I think he wrote this himself!
11.10.2008 3:00pm
Anderson (mail):
I received some Obama-themed spam today too:

McCain Lawyer Impeach Obama!
McCain has reached an agreement with the Obama lawyers that makes Obama resignation effective November 11.
Barack Obama can lost President's Chair.
McCain video report 10 November:

Proceed to the election results news page

2008 USA Government Official Web Site.


The poor grasp of our political system suggests an origin in the third world ... or perhaps Alaska.
11.10.2008 3:06pm
eyesay:
God rest ye j.mery@live.com, gentlemen.
11.10.2008 3:11pm
Fub:
pete wrote at 11.10.2008 2:53pm:
Its good that all those foreign campaign donations to the Obama campaign are going back oversees.
How will this affect the current balance of payments deficit?
11.10.2008 3:18pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Your first clue should have been that he failed to pluralize "internet."
11.10.2008 3:23pm
MatrixArchitect:


The poor grasp of our political system suggests an origin in the third world ... or perhaps Alaska.



Alaska being the 57th state I concur with your assessment.
11.10.2008 3:23pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
I see where there's a site near Rushmore that's being considered for a bust of Obama. Not right on top of Mt. Rushmore, but sort of near Keystone, South Dakota.
11.10.2008 3:29pm
Al Maviva:
Anderson, that is so funny! Alaksans = Stoopid Peeple! Hah! Comedy gold, Jerry. Comedy gold. I like the premise of the joke, which is also the conclusion. Maybe it's not as rib-tickling as Southerners = Stoopid, but it's still dang funny.
11.10.2008 3:33pm
MisterBigTop (mail):
"Alaska being the 57th state I concur with your assessment."


Zing! :-)
11.10.2008 3:38pm
zippypinhead:
Include your direct telephone for easy communication.
Phone number instead of bank account number? Hmmm... that's slightly unusual for Nigerian Scam solicitations. Hope when the inevitable call comes in to Grandma, that Montgummy (RTD) speaks better English than he/she/it writes.

Everytime I see something like this, I think to myself "NObody is dumb enough to fall for this." And everytime I learn later that I was wrong. Sigh...
11.10.2008 3:43pm
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
My interest will be protected at all times, EVEN IN THE FUTURE! Wow!
11.10.2008 3:52pm
tim maguire (mail):
I don't mind so much the scams that seek to make people complicit in stealing money. A few years ago I got one asking for help in spiriting away Iraq Oil for Food money. I wrote the guy back and said no thank you, but congratulations for devising a variation where the suckers totally deserve to get suckered.
11.10.2008 3:59pm
Norman Bates (mail):
Classic. But before labeling this con artist a retard it might be worth pondering what percent of Americans (maybe even what percent of Ivy League grads) could write this coherently in a language other than English. And I suspect almost every American reading this blog has as little grasp of the Nigerian political system -- absent a professional "need to know" -- as this spammer has of ours.
11.10.2008 4:00pm
krs:
Fair point, Norman Bates. I think the "con artist" part is probably still fair, though.
11.10.2008 4:10pm
Latinist:
I really like the phrase "it is going to raise dust." I'm going to start using that one.

I remember a post from Daniel Davies' blog a while ago where he pointed out that these scams can't be quite as big a business as people sometimes say they are, or they'd be able to hire people who knew English (such people do exist in Nigeria).
11.10.2008 4:15pm
Grigor:

Classic. But before labeling this con artist a retard it might be worth pondering what percent of Americans (maybe even what percent of Ivy League grads) could write this coherently in a language other than English. And I suspect almost every American reading this blog has as little grasp of the Nigerian political system -- absent a professional "need to know" -- as this spammer has of ours.


That may go part way to explaining why there are relatively few emails like this directed to Nigerians from Americans.
11.10.2008 4:42pm
MartyA:
The African scammers will learn quickly that they can not compete with the Chicago scammers of Chimpy Hussein Obama-Mugabe!
11.10.2008 5:05pm
LN (mail):

Considering how dumb I hear Obama is, I think he wrote this himself!


Oh please. Close contextual analysis of the letter reveals that the true author is William Ayers.
11.10.2008 5:33pm
JB:
My Obama-related spam is emails purporting to have sex tapes of Michelle Obama and John McCain.

As you are a successful law professor and I a recent university graduate, that may explain the difference.

Also, I was hoping this would be from a wealthy American hoping to transfer his wealth overseas before Obama seized it, and that it would mention that "30 per cent of the money will be yours to retain, as the wealth tax will be substantially higher it is a price I am willing to pay."
11.10.2008 5:49pm
Cornellian (mail):
It would be interesting to compare the bad English in this and similar spam letters to see if the grammatical errors follow a pattern and if that pattern can be traced back to the grammar of a foreign language, like the way Russian people tend to leave out the word "the" because the Russian language doesn't have that word.
11.10.2008 5:58pm
Hoosier:
Montgomery Levi James,

Perhaps Jake Sears-Abercrombie will have to respond to this gentleman . . .
11.10.2008 6:03pm
Pat C (mail):
Like Sasha, I also admired the phrase
"will be protected at all times even in the future."

Reminds me of Criswell's (or Ed Wood's) "Future events like these will affect us in the future!"
11.10.2008 6:10pm
Hoosier:
Pat C:

ALL YOU OF EARTH ARE IDIOTS!
11.10.2008 6:14pm
Anderson (mail):
My interest will be protected at all times, EVEN IN THE FUTURE! Wow!

Obviously the e-mail is from AIG.
11.10.2008 7:41pm
crane (mail):
My Obama-related spam is emails purporting to have sex tapes of [content removed for your protection]

Man, JB, I'm glad I already had dinner. That visual made me lose my appetite for the rest of the evening.
11.10.2008 8:18pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

My First Obama-related E-mail Scam:

Cherish the moment.
11.10.2008 8:34pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
If you rearrange the letters in "Montgomery James Levi" and replace every third odd numbered letter with the next letter and discard every fourth even numbered letter it spells out "David Axelrod".
11.10.2008 10:44pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Send it on to <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.scamorama.com/">scam o rama</a>. The lads from Lagos will thank you.
11.10.2008 10:57pm
Marvin (mail) (www):
"I am ex military man."
Me, I'm a veteran.
11.10.2008 11:01pm
Dave N (mail):
And I suspect almost every American reading this blog has as little grasp of the Nigerian political system -- absent a professional "need to know" -- as this spammer has of ours.
Ironically, Nigeria's
government, in form though not in substance, is modeled after the United States.

Not that Montgomery James Levi (or is it Montgomery Levi James?) would either know or care.
11.11.2008 2:40am
JPG:
Why use Obama as using Bush would evidently make it easier to scam the unaware?

"Hi, my name is George. I am just a few bribes away from convincing the whole Congress to grant me 300 billion dollars before leaving office in january. If you send me 50,000$ right now, I will send you back 5% of the lump sum as soon as it is secured in my friend Dick's account, hidden in the Middle-Eastern desert. It is money you can sherish for the rest of your life, even in the future.

W."
11.11.2008 4:56am
Fedya (www):
JB wrote:

My Obama-related spam is emails purporting to have sex tapes of Michelle Obama and John McCain.

With each other, or separately?
11.11.2008 9:04am
Felix Sulla:

Obviously the e-mail is from AIG.
Anderson has won this thread.
11.11.2008 10:52am
Thales (mail) (www):
There was a great profile in the New Yorker a while back about a guy who fell for the Nigerian prisoner scam. It was fascinating to read, sort of like seeing a car accident or open heart surgery on a medical show--you want to look away, and yet . . .
11.11.2008 11:44am
Bob in SeaTac (mail):
He's got to be a military man, as he knows how to spell barrack, the building he lives in!
11.11.2008 2:12pm
Chuck Moss (mail) (www):
Dear Beloved:

Your name has been give to me as a person of absolute discretion. I am President of a Very Large American Automobile Producer, and have been given the sum of $25 Billion dollars...

"This proposal is not like scam mails that is being sent in the internet by Africans."
11.11.2008 3:57pm