Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yugo 5000

About a week and a half ago, I received the best 419 scam e-mail ever. It reads like the plot of a international thriller - assuming that the average 8-year old wrote international thrillers. It has detained diplomats, a box full of money, international police agencies, secretive benefactors, a sense of urgency, possible criminal conspiracies and corrupt law enforcement officials in high places. I can't believe that this hasn't hit the big screen yet, with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie in the lead roles. It would be a blockbuster.After the guy who wrote it works on his basic English grammar, spelling and punctuation, he could really leave the junk e-mail business behind, and start writing elevator pitches for Hollywood. Hey, one scam is just like any other, right?

But in a lot of ways, the most amazing thing about the e-mail is that it exists in the first place. Yes, I know that there's a sucker born every minute, but it would take a real idiot or a remarkable naïf to fall for the scheme that this email is attempting to perpetrate. Anyone with the slightest bit of awareness about and suspicion of the original 419 scam couldn't help but to know better.

And in this way, the new and improved version strikes me as being like a sporty update of the Yugo. (Remember those?) We'll call it the Yugo 5000. The effort that it would take to redesign the Yugo into a twenty-first century sports car seems like a complete waste of time - because pretty much no one who wouldn't buy the original Yugo would buy the new one. So it makes just as much sense to just sell the original. I know that criminals need to keep up with the times, but some things just can't really be updated all that well. And this is one of those things. I mean, there's no real way to run a 419 scam without the promise of a big payoff in return for sending your financial information to some sketchy guy that you'd never heard of before that moment, who is going to ask you for money. No amount of lipstick is going to hide that pig, so why bother?

But if this guy doesn't take this idea to Hollywood, I'm so stealing the plot for a movie. Maybe I can find a way to work in a car chase with Jason Statham driving a candy-apple red hot-rod Yugo.

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