Saturday, July 3, 2010


How many millions of dollars have you been offered in letters from Chad or Angola or some other far away country? Some of these spoke of the desperate need to get a fortune out of the country and begged for help (in form of cash) to expedite this complicated process. Another was notifying you of your fabulous luck in winning their national lottery. Of course, the taxes were your responsibility but once the money was received to cover the tax bite, the winnings were all yours. You don’t remember entering this country’s lottery? With that much free money waiting for you, does it really matter?
This week’s scheme arrived in the form of an eight page letter personalized by my name, relating my very unique abilities and charms had been discovered by some highly placed person. That there were any rare and hidden traits was a total surprise to me, as was the fact that knowledge of these traits had popped up in some stranger’s possession.
The writer was so excited for me. He had once been destitute but now was wealthy beyond description. The eight-pages continued to tell of how he had been discovered as a person like myself, with all these yet to be developed traits that created such success. After he was given a dusty old book containing the secrets to success in all ventures, all things had become possible to him. Now he was extending an offer of a reprinted copy of this book of secrets that made all these wonders possible. Free! Instructions couldn’t have been simpler. Place a check mark by your name on a form stating that you had been made aware of your possession of special and rare traits and were willing to accept a free membership in this exclusive secret association and receive a free copy of the book of secrets. There was a 3-day deadline for responding and a warning that there would be no future offers.
I read every word, hunting for the hook and line that was going to allow me to be reeled into something costly. The warning we hear often “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” was upper most in my mind.
The good ole Internet was near at hand; the book’s name was typed into Google. A long list of messages from others who had received identical letters appeared with various remarks describing their reactions and their hopes for the sender’s future.
Of course, it was “a come-on”. The information in the 68-page booklet gave no wonderful instruction. Complainants were told that the message was there but could only be absorbed by the sub-conscience. Another book to help interpret this first one could be purchased for less than $200 dollars. The hook!
Ignore these schemes. Keep your money. Toss the offers in the trash or read them to admire the various techniques used but don’t believe a word and DO NOT SEND MONEY!

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