All Your Modality Are Belong To Us

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April 11, 2014 by T. Gregory Argall

As I’m sure you are aware by now, being the adept internet user that you are, there are some less-than-honest emails that sometimes arrive in your inbox, offering the riches of a Nigerian prince.
Well, it seems the Nigerian scammers now realise that they have completely saturated the email marketplace with their BS missives and so they are returning to the old way of duping people.
Kickin’ it old school, as the kids say for reasons I will never understand.

A couple of weeks ago I received this letter in the mail…


Questionable Letter - blurred



Impressive, huh?
A Nigerian email that is neither Nigerian nor email.

The letter shows such incredible mastery of the English language, reminiscent of the ham-fisted translations of 1980’s Japanese video games.
I was drawn in by the repeated use of the word “modality,” a term which rarely gets used outside of the field of psychology or first generation Google Translate algorithms.
But for me, the clincher was how much Mr. Adam Westwood’s signature looks absolutely nothing all like “Adam Westwood.” In fact, I think that may be the scammer’s actual signature.

I was also intrigued by the inconsistency of the ficticious Adam Westwood’s cover story. He claims to have been searching for years for a member of the Argall family, before finally finding me in Canada. Granted, there are not a lot of Argalls, only about a thousand of us worldwide. But that fact should make it easier to locate an actual relative of the alleged business magnate, David Argall.
There’s a very nice fellow named Ian Argall living in England, where Adam Westwood claims to be. Ian has spent many years compiling the Argall family history tracing it practically to Moses’ wet nurse. If Adam the Alleged Accountant had bothered to Google “Argall genealogy” he would have found Ian’s website in 0.26 seconds.
Our scammer didn’t bother to think that part through, however he did volunteer an explanation for why his letter from London, England arrived in an envelope with the return address of a P.O. box in Burlington, Ontario.
The last line of the letter, which might as well have been prefaced with, “Oh, and before you ask…” say that the letter was mailed out while he was in Canada for business meeting. (Not “a business meeting,” just “business meeting.) And apparently while he was in Canada, meeting business, he stayed in a post office box, because it’s cheaper than a hotel, I guess.

So, yeah, thanks but no thanks, Adam Westwood. I think I’ll pass on this once-in-a-lunchtime offer.
But don’t feel bad. I still have the same amount of respect I’ve always had for you and your scamming brethren.
Try to be nice to each other.



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