Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ghost Money

Somebody in St. Louis bought a Powerball ticket that ended up worth $254 million in Wednesday's drawing. As of this moment, the newest rich person on the planet hasn't shown up to claim the prize. It's nice, though, to see someone winning real money.

When I say "real money," I'm not talking about the amount, I'm referring to the spendibility of the stuff. That prize money will actually buy all kinds of things, as well as places to put them. Contrast that with the worth of all this ghost money I've been winning. You, too, I'll bet.

In November alone, assorted emails informed me I'd won a total of somewhere around $19 million in Yankee dollahs and another 4,250,000 in pounds across the pond. Not as impressive as the Powerball win, I'll admit, but it's more than I ever had in Monopoly money. And worth even less. Which is too bad because I'd have fun using it to buy all that property in Costa Rica they keep offering me.

This is what's known as the 419 scam and you can read a whole lot more about it here. This morning I received the one that falls in the Microsoft Email Lottery genre and this time my winnings come to 470,000 euros. All I have to do is contact my claims agent, a Mr. Pixie Turker, to start the process moving. Yo, Pixie!

The fun part was the closing, wherein a lady with the hefty title of Microsoft E-Mail Lottery Promotion Coordinator assured me she was:

Faithfully yours,
Queen Salote Tupou III of Tonga (1918-65)

Ohmigawd, I thought. There really IS email in heaven. Looky there -- they're channeling staff!

Well, not really. See, my mail program won't show images unless I tell it to. What I was seeing was the html tag that identifies the image in the space where it's supposed to go. The letter sender didn't expect that, of course. What they expected me to see (and I did when I clicked the image button) was a small photo of the late Queen -- a perfectly sweet old lady, happily working at her desk. I was supposed to think this was Jony Xinxy (Mrs) and be convinced she had an honest, trustworthy face so it would be okay to check in with ol' Pixie.

Decent psychology. Lousy presentation.

Tell you what, though ... they hadn't oughta be messin' with the Queen. No telling what she could zap 'em with from where she is now.


John Bailey said...

Had the great please of seeing Queen Salote up close, long time ago, and you're right, Dee, she was not an entity to be trifled with... :)

Dee said...

Good morning, John! You're up and at 'em about the time I'm headed for my pillow. (smile) I'm impressed at your Queen Salote sighting. Always had a soft spot for the Tongan folk.

bb said...

My my what I've been missing with the spam filter. I don't open them, read somewhere that when you do it tells the spammers it is a legit address. Of course on gmail and myway mail they find me anyway. Still don't open them. lol

bb said...

btw I tell this comment thing not to display the non secure items too. rotfl

Anonymous said...

just tell them to send cash, you'll never hear from them again!

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