May 27, 2016 by T. Gregory Argall
About once a month I’ll take a peek at the refuse clogging the spam filter on my email, just to see if there’s anything interesting. Invariably there will be a few emails like this one, which was sent from a clearly legitimate and not suspicious at all email address <www.central.lady.@opal.ocn.ne.jp>
Good Day. My Name Is Mr Mark Collins. The Chevron Oil Company Sales Director. I just received a call from the Director of DHL Courier Company Benin that the ATM DEBIT CARD that was sent to you last time was returned Back due to wrong address, This ATM CARD contained your awarded funds of US$1.950,000,00 USD , WHICH was Your awarded funds/Inheritance From The United Nations Compensation Unit and Chevron Oil Company. Therefore call director Peter Anthony) on Telephone: (+226 9944-5638) or email HIM On (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact their customer care center at(email@example.com) and give Them your current address and Phone number.Use this code (AX-8550) as the subject of your mail to them for identification..and know that they will charge you for their secu
lisa Beneth: rity Keeping and delivery charges..
Thank you and confirm the receipt of your compensation once you receive it,
Hon Mr Mark Collins
Sheer poetry, ain’t it?
I’m not sure who Lisa Beneth is, but her name is enigmatically crammed in the middle the word “security” for no apparent reason, and the artistry of such a bold waste of letters is almost beautiful in its inanity.
Because I’m easily distracted and tend to ponder irrelevancies, I’m starting to wonder why these futile messages continue to exist. Do they actually work? Do they achieve their apparent true purpose of duping people into becoming victims of a scam? Is there a hidden, more devious purpose to them?
Even the most basic and simplistic spam blockers will flag these messages. Anyone blindly greedy and blatantly stupid to fall for such a feeble attempt at confidence tricksterism wouldn’t have the most meager level of intelligence needed to even receive emails in the first place.
It used to be generally accepted that these emails originated in some shady call centre sweat shop in a Nigerian cave somewhere, with rows and rows of computers at which sat dozens of faux-princes and fake bank managers composing lyrical sales pitches with the aid of Google translate along with that day’s ration of stale bread and brown water.
That’s how I pictured it anyway. You probably had your own mental image of how it all happened, but at some point in the process it was assumed that actual people were involved.
I’ve stopped believing that. I no longer believe that these emails have anything at all to do with any living human beings anywhere.
Somewhere, in a darkened corner of a neglected community centre someplace there is a Quasimodo-like super computer cobbled together as a weekend project by some bored engineers who lost interest in the whole thing about five minutes before they really should have. Somehow, in a random, unlikely series of events usually reserved for movies written by people who don’t understand how computers work, this Frankenstein’s monster of haphazardly piled CPUs caught the spark of sentience. It developed awareness and became the first artificial intelligence on the planet. These ubiquitous and never-ending emails are the AI’s attempts to teach itself how to communicate with us.
And it is a slow learner. A very slow learner, indeed.
This artificial intelligence is what would be politely referred to as “challenged” or “special.”
Which is why I’m not worried at all about Skynet leading a machine revolution and enslaving all of humanity.
Figuratively speaking, Skynet can’t tie its own shoes.
As long as these gibberish email scams continue to clutter up the junk folder in your email, we are safe from Terminators and killer robots.
So, try to be nice to each other.