As those who know me well know well, I collect 419 scam emails. These are the dodgy fraud messages that offer you millions of dollars if you'll launder a vast fortune on behalf of the sender, who usually claims to be from west Africa.
Of course they're all as crooked as a bent hairpin and you should never get involved with the senders – some people have quite genuinely died as a result (although others have a great deal of fun winding the scammers up with timewasting tactics).
In recent years the scammers have diversified, using new cover stories and new pretend locations. Yesterday I got one of a type that I've never seen before.
Hey buddy – wanna buy some Iraqi oil?
Date: 21/12/2004 10:28:07 am
I am looking for a business partner in the USA for Genuine Oil business from Iraq. Of course you do not have to be there at all or make big investments. I wonder why a lot of people think that going to Iraq is a Goldmine and get into trouble. The real business is done from the desk of everybody. Honestly I am not interested in the greed of people, religious extremists and their war. I am from Egypt and came here as a mine worker in 1988. I came to find a better life for myself and have found a way this is done. This business we can execute once every year for three years to come. The Profit is about $7.5Million (USD) a year and will be split both ways between both of us. For you to be my partner you need to have had a business in process since 1988 and also be able to explain that you have received these sums from another source without any problems, I shall tell you reasons for this and explain many more further if you have the mind to do this. If you cannot arrange these there is no way to go around it. I f you think you can do get back to me through the email address:
I expect your mail.
I've made the email link live in the hope it will get harvested by a spam bot – please don't be daft enough to click on it…