Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 634.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 09:00:30 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Urgent Business Proposal, hello darling & THIS IS NOT SPAM
I very much hope this bank holiday (AND FA CUP) weekend that I am the only
one among us whom certain Nigerian scam artists, porno floggers and "This
is not spam, but if you would rather not be on our mailing list, just click
on the link below" -- which turns out of course not to work -- senders, all
of whom, of course, use varying e-mail addresses and names. But I suppose
not. I recall Allen Renear wisely remarking, in response to one of those
"too much junk" complaints about the Internet, that its signal-to-noise
ratio was actually much better than print but could only get worse. He was
right, it has. The following example is sociologically interesting,
especially given the fact that people are actually fooled; for its history
There's a serious problem here, potentially. Humanist has already begun to
suffer from floods of such stuff, which are making the task of finding
relevant messages difficult, especially as software gets cleverer at
constructing plausible subject lines.
Ah, yet another variation on the theme of infoglut, which for Humanist
began shortly after it was founded, in 1987, and has been a useful stimulus
to improvements ever since. Reflecting on Vannevar Bush's justification for
the Memex -- too many scientific publications for a person to get through
and organize, as I recall -- we should perhaps be upbeat about this
problem, BUT AT THE MOMENT IT IS TRULY ANNOYING!
Yours most calmly,
>From: "Dr.frank williams" <email@example.com>
>Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 01:06:45
>>X-MailScanner: Found to be clean
>DR. FRANK WILLIAMS
>LAGOS - NIGERIA.
>ATTN: THE MANAGING DIRECTOR
>URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL
>IT IS WITH TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THAT I WILL LIKE TO REVEAL THIS URGENT
>BUSINESS PROPOSAL TO YOU. I AM A SENIOR ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN
>NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC) HERE IN NIGERIA. I WAS ASSIGNED BY
>TWO OF MY COLLEAGUES TO SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER WHO WILL ASSIST US IN
>PROVIDING A CONVENIENT ACCOUNT IN A DESIGNATED BANK OVERSEA FOR THE
>TRANSFER OF US$32M (THIRTY-TWO MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY).
>PENDING ON OUR ARRIVAL IN YOUR COUNTRY FOR UTILIZATION AND DISBURSEMENT OF
>THE FUND WITH THE OWNER OF THE ACCOUNT WHERE THE FUND WOULD BE TRANSFERRED
>IN 1995 OUR CORPORATION, THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION
>(NNPC). AWARDED A CONTRACT OF US$52M (FIFTY-TWO MILLION UNITED STATES
>DOLLARS). TO A FOREIGN FIRM FOR THE SUPPLY OF SOME EQUIPMENT AT THE KADUNA
>THE ACTUAL CONTRACT VALUE WAS US$20M (TWENTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS
>ONLY). BUT I AND MY COLLEAGUES BEING MEMBERS OF THE CONTRACT AWARD
>COMMITTEE OVER INFLATED THE CONTRACT TO THE TUNE OF US$52M (FIFTY-TWO
>MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY). WITH THE INTENTION OF SHARING THE
>REMAINING BALANCE OF US32M (THIRTY-TWO MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY)
>THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTED AND THE ACTUAL CONTRACTOR HAS
>BEEN PAID HIS US$20M (TWENTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) IN FULL,
>REMAINING THE OVER INVOICED OF THE CONTRACT SUM IN OUR FAVOUR FOR
>DISBURSEMENT AMONG OURSELVES.
>MY COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE AGREED THAT, IF YOU/YOUR COMPANY ACT AS THE
>SUB-CONTRACTOR OF THIS FUND (US$32M). WE WILL TRANSFER THE FUND TO YOUR
>ACCOUNT AND YOU WILL RETAIN 30% OF THE TOTAL FUND, FOR THE ASSISTANCE
>RENDERED, WHILE WE WOULD RETAIN 60% OF THE TOTAL FUND AND THE BALANCE OF
>10% OF THE TOTAL FUND WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR THE OFF-SETTING OF ALL
>EXPENSES THAT MIGHT BE INCURRED BY BOTH PARTIES DURING THE FUND TRANSFER
>WE ARE REQUESTING YOU TO CO-OPERATE WITH US AND PROVIDE A CONVENIENT
>ACCOUNT NUMBER IN A DESIGNATED BANK WHERE THIS FUND CAN BE SAFELY
>TRANSFERRED TO. WE INTEND TO COME OVER THERE ON THE COMPLETION OF THE FUND
>TRANSFER TO SECURE OUR OWN SHARE OF THE FUND.
>PLEASE, NOTE THAT WE HAVE BEEN CAREFUL AND HAVE WORKED OUT ALL THE
>MODALITIES FOR A SMOOTH TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO YOUR CHOSEN DESIGNATED
>BANK ACCOUNT BEFORE CONTACTING YOU. WE WOULD THEREFORE NOT WANT YOU TO
>EXPOSE THIS PROPOSAL TO ANYBODY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURITY AND ITS
>CONFIDENTIAL NATURE. WE ALSO BELIEVE YOU WOULD NOT SIT ON OUR MONEY WHEN
>IT IS TRANSFERRED EVENTUALLY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT, AS YOU WOULD GET YOUR 30%
>PLEASE, BE REST ASSURED THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE, IF THIS
>PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTED, PLEASE CONTACT US THROUGH THE ABOVE STATED TEL/FAX
>NUMBERS,OR EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org BY INDICATING YOUR
>INTEREST AND SENDING US: ACCOUNT NUMBER IN DESIGNATED BANK, ADDRESS OF THE
>BANK, FAX AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE BANK, ON YOUR ACCEPTANCE, MORE
>DETAILS ABOUT THE TRANSACTION WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU.
>NOTE THAT, THE PARTICULAR NATURE OF YOUR COMPANY'S BUSINESS IS IRRELEVANT
>TO THIS TRANSACTION.
>PLEASE, YOUR FAVOURABLE REPLY IS URGENTLY NEEDED.
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