Let’s compare the offers on this amazing day! My comments are italicized. First up is Bernice. I am Mrs. Bernice Dos Santos a citizen Angola. I am 45 years old with two children. Presently residing in South Africa because of the political crisis in my Country. I got your contact in strict confidence through South Africa Chamber of Commerce. (Good. I have always asked the South Africa Chamber of Commerce to be careful with my contact info. Good job, guys!) I would Honestly want to seek for an immediate assistance from you, I Have $15 Million US dollars belonging to my late husband Mr. Desmond Dos Santos. Who was held bondage by the Rebels during the crisis and was letter killed. (letter killed?) I ran to South Africa refugee Camp when I Discovered danger to my life and that of my two children until the death of my beloved husband. He packed the above mentioned Amount in a METAL TRUNK BOX and deposited it with A SECURITY COMPANY in South Africa for safe keeping. I am glad the money was safely stored in a METAL BOX but how does that relate to little old me? As it is, I have the intention of investing the money oversees and However needed a Foreigner who is capable of giving adequate assistance to me by the way of clearing the money from the SECURITY COMPANY and Thereafter forwarding it to your Account for investments. Oh I get it. You need a random Foreigner supplied by the always cautious South Africa Chamber of Commerce to contact the SECURITY COMPANY. But what is in it for me? I have nice percentage of the money for you. (I need a number, Bernice. I have other suitors today) If Necessary, Please do Feel free to ask me questions on this as I wait for your reply soonest. Mrs. Bernice Dos Santos Sorry Bernice. I have to tell you that I loved the fractured syntax and the use of ALL CAPS but you aren’t the only one who needs me desperately. Before I can reply soonest you need to take a number and I will get back to you. I feel like the commercial where the bankers are lined up outside the door clamoring to meet with me. Next offer please… Dear Friend, I am contacting you from Abu Dhabi the capital of United Arab Emirates and I will be here for a while to attend a seminar which will last for a couple of days. I am Dr. Philip Mensah and I am a director with the Ministry of Local government and rural development back in Ghana. I must have ordered way too many magazines to be on every contact list in the world. I am contacting you to solicit for your assistance in the transfer of us $35, 500,000.00 which we noticed that has been laying waste in the ministry since 2003. We know how to lay waste to large sums of money in our government too. That paltry 15 million in the METAL BOX may not be so inviting now Bernice. My man is talking some serious bucks. Whacha’ got for me Doc? Dear, (easy, we just met) we are only presenting you as a legal contractor with our ministry who is yet to be paid and we will apply for all the relevant documents of the said contract and then release into your nominated bank account(s) the said amount. Uhhhh…sure. It is simple as we know the procedures over there. I’ll bet you do. All we need is your cooperation in the transaction and we will do the smooth transfer of the funds. Worthy to note here is that we have taking all the precautionary measures and as long as you are going to work under our instructions, there will not be any hitch. Suddenly I feel like I am in a bad movie…”Do what I say and no one gets hurt.” We have decided to compensate your much needed assistance with 25% of the total sum while 5% will be to reimburse all expenses and 70% will be for us here. Now we are talking. No matter what position you are going to take in this proposal, be informed that we are still in service and there will be the need for you to keep this transaction to yourself. No worries. No one reads these silly ramblings of mine. Your secret is safe here Doc. I will be looking forward to your urgent response to this effect as I will be supplying you with all the relevant details of the transaction as soon as I hear from you. Go read an old magazine in the waiting room…I have to see what Mr. Yang is offering first. Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr. Ming Yang director of operations of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have an obscured business suggestion for you. Excellent. Exactly what is an obscured business suggestion? Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client Gen. Aadel Akgaal Bastaan who was with the Iraqi forces and also businessman made a numbered fixed deposit for 18 calendar months, with a value of Twenty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notices was sent to him, even during the war which began in 2003. Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later find out that the General along with his wife and only daughter had been killed during the war in a bomb blast that hit their home. After further investigation it was also discovered that Gen. Aadel Akgaal Bastaan did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Twenty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will know of it. What bothers me most is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration of 3 years and 6 months the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Gen. Aadel Akgaal Bastaan so that you will be able to receive his funds. That makes sense to me. Dave Burchett, the long lost Texas nephew of Aadel Akgaal Bastaan. Should be an easy sell. All they need is for me to send personal information to the attorney and it will all be “taken care of” with no risk to me. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. No problem. That is how Uncle Aadel would have wanted it. Should you be interested please send me your full names, private phone/fax and current residential address and finally after that i shall provide you with more details of this operation. Right. I will get right on that. How could I have been so lucky to have three offers just today totalling millions of dollars? And how could these crooks believe that anyone is gullible enough to believe any of this? These computer generated emails are laughable but apparently they find a random sucker now and then who actually believes the South Africa Chamber of Commerce selected them out of 4 billion people on the planet. Pick me! Pick me! The bigger issue here is the danger of internet phishing to unwary users. If phishing is a new term to you Dictionary.com defines it as… A method of identity theft carried out through the creation of a website that seems to represent a legitimate company. The visitors to the site, thinking they are buying something from a real business, submit their personal information to the site. The criminals then use the personal information for their own purposes, or sell the information to other criminal parties. I have to admit that I was unnerved when I first was targeted by phishers. I received a very official looking email that one of my internet accounts had been canceled because of attempted access by unauthorized users. This happened to be a Paypal account. I clicked on the link in that email. The website used the correct logo, had the same layout as the real one, and seemed legit. But something smelled fishy (pun intended) about the appeal. I went to my real account and it was very open. No transactions had been attempted. I had been phished. I am writing about this because many Christians tend to be a little too trusting and often naive about such tactics. Be wary. Be wise. And be discerning. Contact the company through your normal connections if you are not sure. Back to my windfall. What have I decided to do with my various offers of wealth? I think I will pass. My wealth is elsewhere. And the words of 1 Timothy trump my “friends” who desire to make me rich. Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for what we believe…Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 1 Tim 6 NLT So with all due respect to Bernice, Doc, and Ming I have decided to be content with what God provides. Go phishing in another pond. P.S. Another edition of “Ask a Bad Christian” will be arriving soon. If you have a question hit the email link and ask away.