Editorial – Dear Miss Rose

Dear Miss Rose, I hate to ruin a lovely friendship, but the time has come that something must be said. At first, I tried to be understanding. You’re just a poor gal out there trying to make a buck, and even though I was suspicious of your motives, I held out hope that you were simply delusional (nothing serious; just blissfully off your rocker).

However, your correspondence has lately become so persistent, and dare I say over-ambitious, that I think It’s high time to warn all those unsuspecting souls who might actually be tempted to fall for your ploy: there is no ?Annual MS-Word Lotto Lottery,? there is no $1,000,000 award, and there isn’t even a ?European Processing Agent.?

I mean, obviously it was too good to be true that you had selected my name from oodles of email addresses around the world for a $1,000,000 contest I hadn’t even entered (and I was never really convinced that Bill Gates was going to hand me wads of cash on some madcap whim).

I figured you’d eventually give up and go away, but then it occurred to me: if You’re still putting in the effort to send out all those emails, it must be paying off. And that means that more than a few people are actually falling for your scam?and handing over bank account numbers in anticipation of their winnings. Which is something I just don’t understand.

After all, if Bill and his friends are really going to hand out millions of dollars?and enter people in next year’s ?US$40,000,000,00 international lottery??it would only make sense that they’d have enough spare change lying around to spring for a toll-free number for the winners to use. you’d also think they’d provide a real Microsoft email address for responses, or get the efficient machinery of their accounting department to pay the winners by cheque. Maybe they’d even fork out the cash for a proofreader. (Bill’s folks know how to polish an image. Somehow, the mangled English of ?until your claims has been process? just doesn’t seem their style.)

And while we’re at it, I’m starting to wonder if your ambitions don’t extend beyond being the bearer of good news for the fictitious Lotto Lottery. This week alone, I’ve received notices from three different Nigerian banks. Apparently, all I have to do to collect on both a $19.5 million and a $75 million dormant account is hand over my banking details. Call me jaded, but I immediately saw your hand in the botched syntax of this catchy bit: ?his last testament of WILL, which is still under my posssion and which we will amends to make you elgible to claim the fund.?

The point, Miss Rose, is that the people most willing to jump at your bogus offer are the ones who can least afford to lose. If someone is desperate enough to toss prudence aside and supply you with their bank account number (which, let’s be honest, You’re going to promptly turn around and clean out), then they must be desperate indeed. Whether It’s a senior citizen on a tiny pension, a young adult struggling to make a start, or someone who’s simply fallen on hard times, I can only hope that this column will make at least one person think twice.

Still, we’ve been pals for so long now I’d hate to part on bad terms. If I’ve been harsh, I’d like to make it up by sending you a gift. Twenty-five million, in fact, from a dormant account That’s been hanging around. I look forward to receiving confirmation of your account details and PIN number soon.

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