I have a myspace page that I use to track my teenager's online movements, keep in touch with a couple of other writers, a friend or two and my little brother and sister. My Space comes with inherent risks that the savvy user knows how to combat and it pays to know the pitfalls.
Among the minor annoyances is the spam from porno sites, women selling Avon, and princes from Nigeria who need to give away their money.
However the spam I'm getting lately amuses and concerns me. I've gotten three of these within the last week or so. Here's most recent one (all names removed):
My name is xxx and am a banker...Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs of xxxx BANK,am single and sexy looking for a life suitor like you you set me ablaze on the first sight of your pics couple with your sense making profile which makes me wanna have you in my world with everything i got okay i will like to know one or two things about you pls get back at me as soon as possible....via my personal email,,xxxx or xxxxx and myspace im..via my id...xxxx ,as well you can give me yours(email) and add me so that our communication will be more better
Director of Finance and Corporate affairs
The one I got last week was more transparent. In fact that "wealthy oil exec" just happened to be living temporarily in Nigeria, but would be willing relocate for the right woman. What is it about Nigeria . . .
You know, they'd be more believable if they'd a) learn to speak english. b)stop calling themselves "sexy". c)Stop raving about my "drop-dead gorgeous" profile (a fuzzy pic of a no-nonsense me giving a speech to a bunch of volunteers) and d) Stop posting pictures of male models in their own.
What bothers me about letters like this is the fact that there are lonely women out there who will fall for it, who will exchange letters with them, chat with them on IM, develop a relationship with them. The man will begin to confide that he's got feelings for her and she'll reciprocate. At some point, he'll "confess" that he's got a financial problem and needs to open an account somewhere out of reach of his creditors, or he'll offer to relocate to live closer to her, but needs help getting his financial affairs organized. The sympathetic woman will offer to help him with it in some fashion that will amount to her using her own money. She'll wind up broke. He'll disappear.
So here's a word of warning to passing readers: If you think you've got the "real thing" on the line, then test him or her by listening for questions that involve finances. Offer only to put them in touch with a bank or financial advisor or government official see how long they stick around. Someone who really cares about you will understand (and wouldn't ask for that kind of help or accept your offer in the first place).