Still Yet Another Absolutely True and Completely Unexpected Message #2

Dear Sir,
On behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria FGN/ Presidency and the Federal minister of Finance (FMF), I wish to bring to your knowledge that the Federal Government of Nigeria FGN, have decided to bring a lasting solution to all long delayed payments. We have received a lot of complains from different Countries saying that the Nigerian Government refused to release their payment and we want to correct that impression. Right now the Federal Government of Nigeria has instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to offset every payment owed all the foreign beneficiaries through Atm-Card and it will be monitored by me to ensure accurate and decent delivery to every beneficiary to avoid any hitch. This method of payment has been tested
and confirmed as the fastest and safest means of paying foreign beneficiaries their money. I am Her Excellency, Mrs. Patience Dame Goodluck representing the Federal Government of Nigeria/Presidency to make the announcement for 2013 payment.
The Federal minister of Finance (FMF) in joint venture with the Central Bank of Nigeria, will commence action immediately we hear from you.
President, Jonathan Ebele Goodluck (GCFR) my (husband), has made funds available through our FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL, just to make absolutely sure that the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN offset all debts. We have the official list of all the beneficiaries whose names are listed down. Now we are getting in touch to all the beneficiaries who have not received email regarding their payment. Please do not inconvenience us if you have received your payment. But if you have not, kindly contact us back in your return mail with your full information for immediate action, this was the order given to me by Mr. President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (my husband) & the Honorable Minister for Finance. Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
Regards
Mrs. Patience Goodluck,

Her Excellency, First Lady Federal Republic of Nigeria,

I started laughing after, “Dear Sir,” and had to collect myself after seeing, “Nigeria,” in the first line. I wonder if there is some sort of scam inside Nigeria where people are taught how to make these mass emails at some cost to themselves.

I might also point out that if you set an automatic “out-of-office” reply on your work email, you will automatically reply to any incoming messages of this kind. 

Mostly, I wonder who does reply to these, and how the fraudsters benefit.

Lastly, if you enjoy these kinds of posts, you can check out others here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Still Yet Another Absolutely True and Completely Unexpected Message

Oh, Hotmail. 

I AM MRS. SONIA WILSON, A DEAF WIDOW TO LATE ROBERT WILSON FROM SEATTLE
WASHINGTON,USA. PRESENTLY IN ISRAEL RECEIVING TREATMENTS, I AM 61 YEARS
OLD, I AM NOW A NEW CHRISTIAN CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF
THE BREAST,FROM ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT
IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WON'T LIVE MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY
DOCTORS,THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. MY
LATE HUSBAND WAS KILLED DURING THE U.S. RAID AGAINST TERRORISM IN
AFGHANISTAN, AND DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE WERE UNABLE TO
PRODUCE A CHILD.

AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTORS HAS
ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, SO I NOW DECIDED TO
DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO DONATE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH
IN AFRICA, AMERICA ASIA, AND EUROPE. I PRAYED OVER IT, I AM WILLING TO GIVE
THE $8.6MILLION DOLLARS, TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED. RIGHT THE THE FUND IS
DEPOSITED WITH A SECURITY COMPANY IN USA. I AM OF AWARE THAT THERE ARE LOTS
OF SCAM IN INTERNET, I SWEAR TO YOU WITH THE NAME OF OUR LORD THAT THIS IS
NEVER A SCAM.YOUR HELP WILL SAFE MANY LIFE IN THE WORLD, LET GOD TOUCH YOUR
HEART TO HEAR MY CRY.

LASTLY, I ALSO WANT YOU TO ASSURE ME THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE FUND IT WILL
BE USED FOR THE SAID PURPOSE. MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF
GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY I AWAIT URGENT
REPLY.

YOUR'S IN CHRIST.
MRS. SONIA WILSON

An Absolutely True and Unexpected Message #6 and #7

These two entries in the Get-Folks-to-Click-Here Olympics provided plenty of entertainment for me.
The first is remarkably legitimate seeming, from the subject line of “Your fedex.com will soon expire!” to the sender, “Fedex Online Service.” But all is revealed with “you have not access fedex.com…”

The second is obviously fake, and even omits my name from the “Dear ,” and lacks punctuation and capitalization,  but, well, maybe she is a very, very busy “62 yr old.” Lastly, her name changes at the end to the curious “Laura-Green,” which I find oddly appealing.

An Absolutely True and Unexpected Message #5

Once again, an exciting bit of information in my Hotmail inbox. 
I didn’t know I was going to Chattanooga tomorrow! I wonder what airport I’m flying from. The subject line read “Your Order#656869506‏.” A zip file (39.4 KB) was enclosed!


From:American Airlines (order.id7079@aa.com)
Sent:Fri 2/10/12 6:01 PM

Hello

FLIGHT NUMBER AA982
ELECTRONIC 5830688
DATE & TIME / FEBRUARY 12, 2012, 09:30 AM
ARRIVING / Chattanooga
TOTAL PRICE / 112.78 USD

Please find your ticket attached.
To use your ticket you should print it.

Thank you for your attention.
American Airlines.

Absolutely True and Completely Unexpected Message #4

This appeared in my inbox yesterday. How unlikely for Mark Zuckerberg to have a Hotmail account! What an opportunity! Yeesh.



Dear Friend, 


My name is Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook. We have recently partnered up with Apple regarding a one-time test project today, we are finding people who can test the upcoming Apple iPad3 and keep it for free. Apple mackintosh want to make their product perfect before going public. We select users from our system database randomly and you have matched with our latest drawing. 


We are operating this project for one-day only. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to check out our web site made for this project and fill out the short survey to obtain your chance of test an iPad3 and keep it for free. Simply make sure you enter your email so we can locate our records to guarantee that we have reserved one for you. That’s it! 


If you have any question or concerns, feel free to e-mail me back. However, you need to claim 1st to ensure one will be set-aside for you before the deadline ends. We do understand that you may not receive this e-mail until after the deadline, but, we suggest you check out the web site to see if we still have yours on hold, which we often-times do because others may haven’t claimed theirs in time. 


Mark Zuckerberg 
CEO, Facebook

Friday the 13th

I thought I wrote a blog post about Friday the 13th. It was a number of months ago, and there wasn’t a Friday the 13thcoming soon so I stored it away somewhere on the desktop computer that is today deep in storage.  Now I have that forgetting feeling. 
Did I really write it? 
Did I already post it? 
I hate that forgetting feeling.   
Worse, I can’t remember what the point of the blog post was.
I had to wake up early today to catch a train to the city for a dentist appointment. Yes, I imagine that there are dentists in Westchester with perfectly decent credentials, but when we moved here there was urgent need of a dentist for someone, and we were in the city, and we found a good one right in midtown. So it is worth the train trip in to the city just to see the dentist.  I had the same nice dentist in Seattle from about 1993 onwards.  Someday, if you ask nicely and I am in the mood, I will tell you the story of the terrifying dentist that I saw as a child.
It is a sad reflection of the current state of enslavement that I have to my iPhone, but just as soon as I silence the alarm on my phone I check my email.  I was immediately suspicious, because twelve are too many emails for an ordinary night, and there were twelve unread messages. There were one or two actual emails, and then several automatic replies for folks out of town, and then many automatically generated failed delivery messages from the “postmaster” of Hotmail. I did hear from one actual contact, who sent an empty email with the subject line “have you been hacked?”  Yes, readers, my email had been hacked in the night.
The first step, of course, is to change the password on email (and everything else), and to run a dreaded security diagnostic to see if I had malware (I didn’t). My second step was to send a text to My Technology Department (otherwise known as the Relentless Troubleshooter, or the Bacon Provider). He responded right away, which was something of a surprise: he has been on a West Coast business trip this week. My 5:50 am text was answered from the West Coast.  That Technology Department is sure prompt! I was advised to change my password. Wasn’t I satisfied that I did the right thing?  So satisfied was I that I forgot about being upset about sending spam to people, forgot to hurry off to the train station, and forgot to apologize to the Technology Department for waking him up for nothing.   I drank some tea at a leisurely pace and drove unexcitedly to the train station and made my train by only a matter of second: it pulled up just as I descended the last step onto the platform.
Making this train was something I would call lucky.  I do not believe in luck as a magical power one can wield, or store up, or lose, or be due.  I believe in luck as a word to describe a near disaster that did not occur (like remembering your purse under your train seat at the last minute as you get off), or unexpectedly surviving something dreadful (like walking away from a train wreck), or having something fortuitous happen by chance (like meeting s person on a train who offers to interview you for a job).  Of course, Friday the 13th is thought to be an unlucky day. 
I was very superstitious as a child, believing somewhat insincerely in the magical power of sidewalk cracks, chanting on the first day of the month, crossed fingers, unspoken wishes which could come true and spoken dreams which could not.  I do not recall having special feelings about Friday the 13th, but I might have. Maybe that’s what I wrote about.
More likely, I wrote about my mother, who was the more rational of my parents and who actually died on a Friday the 13thafter a long illness. 

Why I Hate LinkedIn

Almost without exception, every one of my classmates from business school has a LinkedIn profile.  There is a reason for it: I know someone who added a number of skills to his profile and heard from a new recruiter within 24 hours. The latest wave of people requesting I add them as contacts is a group of young women who were my students in high school; they are now seniors in college, and someone in the career services office is doing her job, directing these soon-to-be-graduates to start building their networks.   You never know which friend-of-a-friend might make you a contact that wins you your next job. My business school peers keep their profiles up to date, and a small handful of them use it to let us know what they’re reading or which professional conferences they’re attending. Allow me to politely stifle a yawn.
Social networks in general are distrusted by some people my age and older, and I have plenty of friends who won’t have anything to do with them. Others perceive that people seem to like it and go ahead and join, only to wonder “what’s the point?” and never get around to turning Facebook into something they use. This is where I am with LinkedIn: I pretty much understand what it’s for, I joined without hesitation, I generally add people who request that I do (assuming I know them), but I don’t go there every day.  I have yet to perceive that I have gotten anything from my membership in LinkedIn. Wait: for a while there was a lot of regular email, featuring the promotions and new jobs of my classmates. I am happy for them, but I found it depressing. I changed my settings so I don’t receive updates anymore.  LinkedIn offers a dizzying array of settings for the annoying email membership will generate, and even if you limit it to weekly updates, it will be too much if you belong to any groups.
On LinkedIn, I cannot have my name appear as I prefer, with first, middle and last; it’s simply not an option. No doubt there are other women and men who find this frustrating.  I am allowed to create my professional “headline,” but must choose from a limited list of industries. What industry do you work in when you left education to get a new degree and are now unemployed? For a while there I used “Think Tanks,” because I thought it was cute.    These days, being unemployed is not very cute.
I do not have a picture on LinkedIn. I do not consider myself photogenic, and I do not have a professional looking headshot. Probably I should get one. I do not have a resume on LinkedIn. I have done a variety of things as an adult, and could easily generate three mostly different resumes, focusing on different aspects of my experience. I tend to need to tailor my resume to the role I’m applying for.   I do not currently have a job, and when I was actively looking, I checked LinkedIn regularly.
Facebook, for all its evils, especially its obvious desire to exploit its knowledge of my personal interests for its own monetary gain, still has enough appeal to me to inspire a daily visit. (If you know me, you know that “daily” is inaccurate, and might better be replaced with “hourly.”)  LinkedIn throws advertising at you, but from what I can surmise from its financial statements derives roughly half of its profits from its hiring services and the rest from marketing opportunities and premium subscriptions.  The platform remains consistent, does not add annoying features, and has not yet proved a breeding ground for dreadful spam postings when members’ profiles are hacked into. In these regards it is much better than Facebook.  Yet I still hate it.
Sometimes, Facebook makes ridiculous suggestions of friends for me, or advertises to me guessing that I am interested in Ugg boots or veganism or over-weight or single or Jewish.  LinkedIn also makes ridiculous suggestions, like to add “Geometry” or “Algebra” to my skills list. Do they also have “good grammar” or “proper spelling” or “biting sarcasm?”  When LinkedIn reduces my profile to a set of searchable key words, I am reduced, flattened, sampled from, and not fully represented. Facebook may violate my privacy, but at least my quilt-making pictures are all there, along with photos of grapefruit, horses, birthday cakes and sand castles.  I can enjoy a small victory on Facebook every time someone “likes” my status.
LinkedIn says they have one hundred thirty-five million members. Here is that number: 135,000,000.  If they can actually help me find a job worth doing, then I will stop hating them.  But I’m still pretty sure I won’t visit them every day.