Monday, August 13, 2007

Response to e-mail from Atorrney for dead Nigerian

Subj: CAN I CONFIDE IN YOU?

Dear Barrister:

In response to your e-mail, be assured I was not at all surprised to receive your offer of sharing US$12.5Million dollars with me, a total stranger. Apparently I’ve been identified in Nigeria and elsewhere as the point person should an extremely rich person die suddenly and tragically, leaving no next of kin. How else to explain regularly receiving e-mails almost identical to yours? You requested an immediate response, and I hope I’ve made the deadline (no pun intended).

It's admirable that you tried to locate relatives of your client, but (and I risk forfeiting my portion) are you convinced you've exhausted all your resources.? I’m puzzled that so many incredibly wealthy Nigerians die without a will. Your client worked for a major corporation. Did he not have a Blackberry, a buddy list on his computer, a colleague he confided in at the coffee machine about a loved one, a close friend, even a charity to endow? Someone with such a sizable estate could have his name on a hospital wing or college dorm. If you choose to honor his memory in that fashion, I’d urge you to contact the Tisch family.

Life there in Nigeria is unbelievably risky, which I know because among the many offers, I've been asked to be next of kin to an ill-fated businessman who died of a heart-related illness after his wife and children were killed in a bomb explosion as well as hosts of other highly wealthy Nigerians, some cattle farmers and others gold or cocoa merchants, unrelated yet all poisoned by greedy rivals or assassinated for political reasons.

It's tragic that your client’s family was wiped out in a car accident. It was a blessing that he survived but so sad that he subsequently developed heart problems and died. That happens less frequently here. If a man outlives his wife, typically he remarries in a short amount of time someone considerably younger than he is, giving rise to the term, “arm candy”. This is not, I must confess, a custom we're proud of.

I’m happy to assist you on one condition: my husband must never hear of this. He has a suspicious nature and has expressed concern about identify theft. He’s looked over my shoulder while I’m online, insisting I delete all sorts of opportunities -- an e-mail offering me $22 million in return for helping a former Haitian ruler, one from the richest oil tycoon in Russia where I’d have received close to $40 million, a proposal that I work for the Malaysian government (which would have garnered me $57 billion) and the request from a research scientist living in Ireland asking that I work for him for three weeks, a good faith business proposal to be a partner in a London insurance company, the plea from the agitated son of a farmer whose parents had been poisoned by his foreign business partners in Paris. He’s even prevented me from claiming one million pounds sterling I’d won in a number of United Kingdom lotteries.

One of my husband's concerns may be that coming into such a substantial windfall would create resentment in the family as well as lead to my wanting to renovate the kitchen, which would throw our lives into upheaval. I’m firing this off while he’s in the shower and unable to sabotage our potentially productive partnership. I look forward to hearing from you, and assure you I will use the money in a way that will make you proud.





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