Monday, April 20, 2009

Dear DR. OGECHI MARTINS - a few suggestions

Dear Dr. Ogechi Martins,
I got your email last night. Okay, I know your money transfer thing is a scam. That's fine, everybody has to make a living, but your letter sounds like all the other scam letters.

Have you not heard how well romances sell in times of economic strife? I think you might get a better response rate if you spiced things up by taking a cue from, say, a good regency.

I have taken the liberty to make a few changes. I have not altered YOUR ORIGINAL LETTER, WHICH IS IN CAPS (tho caps are overkill, IMHO) and my suggestions are in red.

* * *

DEAREST Carolyn Jean [personalization will go a long way!!],


I AM WRITING IN RESPECT OF A reclusive and wealthy FOREIGN CUSTOMER OF MY BANK (WILLIAM BARNES) WHO was an Earl, but he so despised his rakish half gypsy son, Hugo Barnes, that he resigned his title and lands to punish the poor boy, who he raised with a cruel hand. But then William Barnes PERISHED IN THE PLANE CRASH OF 31 OCTOBER 1999 [WITH EGYPTIAN AIRLINE 990] WITH OTHER PASSENGERS ABOARD before it could all be finalized. [do you see Ogechi? A little backstory!]

SINCE THE DEMISE OF WILLIAM BARNES, I PERSONALLY HAVE WATCHED over the devilishly handsome young Hugo WITH KEEN INTEREST TO SEE THE NEXT OF KIN show some sign of responsibility BUT ALL HAS PROVED ABORTIVE AS NO ONE, other than Hugo HAS COME TO CLAIM HIS FUNDS OF US $30,000,000 [THIRTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS]. And out of hatred for his father, Hugo says he does not want the funds, and that he would squander it all on the gaming tables. [Hugo: Rowrrrr!]

ON THIS NOTE I DECIDED TO SEEK a deserving female, such as yourself, to become Hugo’s wife (in name only) to act as AN AGENT FOR WHOSE NAME SHALL BE USED AS THE NEXT OF KIN, AS NO ONE aside from dissolute scoundrel Hugo CAN COME UP TO PUT CLAIM AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THIS enormous FUNDS AND THE BANKING ETHICS HERE DOES NOT ALLOW SUCH MONEY TO STAY MORE THAN TEN YEARS. [Ogechi, don't you think the setup is more interesting now?]

IN VIEW OF THIS I GOT YOUR CONTACT THROUGH MY COUNTRY'S FOREIGN TRADE MISSION on a list of poor but lovely and kind-hearted women AFTER I WAS CONVINCED that this would be best for all. [Flattery goes a long way.]

Naturally you would have to consummate the marriage with
Hugo (who is rumored to be a brilliant but cold lover) in order to make the union legal, but IN MY MIND THAT is little to pay, and then you would be able to utilize and safeguard the funds. [Now we're cooking with gas, huh?]

YOUR NAME/COMPANY COULD BE USED AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO THIS CLAIM - just think, you would not have to go to work in a brothel, or as a parlor maid. Can you get that kind of guarantee anywhere else in this economy? [classic direct mail technique here.]

THE REQUEST OF THE FOREIGNER AS A NEXT OF KIN IN THIS BUSINESS IS OCCASIONED BY THE FACT THAT THE CUSTOMER WAS A FOREIGNER AND A NIGERIAN, or at least he claimed to be, but few believed it, aside from Lady Watterly, and everybody knew she was barking mad. At any rate, I see no reason, though you are of American parentage, that you CANNOT STAND AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO A FOREIGNER. [a bit of color for verisimilitude]

Hugo has agreed to my plan, though he growled that he would take his pleasure from you, whenever and in whatever way he deems fit, use you like a whore, and will under no circumstances fall in love with you. I AGREED THAT was only fair, seeing as how 30% OF THIS MONEY WILL BE FOR YOU AS A FOREIGN PARTNER IN RESPECT for having to submit to this brooding, rakishly handsome man. [again, Hugo: rowrrr!]

At any rate, for the purpose OF PROVIDING this matchmaking, AN ACCOUNT WHILE 10% WILL TAKE OF ANY EXPENSES THAT MIGHT BE INCURRED IN THE PROCESS OF buying a proper wardrobe and SUCCEEDING THE TRANSFER AND THE REST WILL BE FOR ME. [see where I'm going with this?]

THEREAFTER I WILL VISIT YOUR COUNTRY home to see that you are entertaining the Ton in proper style, to get a report on your marriage night and take my money FOR DISBURSEMENT AS I AM ALMOST DUE FOR RETIREMENT. While there, I would be delighted to sup with your elderly aunt. [subplot - so essential!]

UPON THE RECEIPT OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE of this arrangement to consummate a marriage with a man rumored to have voracious and dark sexual appetites, I WILL SEND YOU BY FAX OR E-MAIL A DRAFT APPLICATION OF CLAIM WHICH YOU WILL SEND TO THE BANK AS THE NEXT OF KIN of that misunderstood blackguard Hugo AND THE NEXT STEP TO TAKE. [characterization!]

I WILL NOT FAIL TO BRING TO YOUR NOTICE THAT THIS BUSINESS IS HITCH FREE, well, aside from the marriage to a reckless, dashing, misunderstood devil of a man, your moving to 19th century London, joining the Ton and AND THAT YOU SHOULD NOT ENTERTAIN ANY other men, for I FEAR Hugo, expert knife-thrower that he is, will certainly kill any man who cuckolds him (not that he will fall in love with you) AS THE WHOLE REQUIRED ARRANGEMENT will be about business. HAS BEEN PERFECTED FOR THE TRANSFER. PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY. [nice hard close.]




Lea said...

Dear Carolyn:

You are a far better person than I, because Dr. Ogechi Martins', scammy spam would have ended up in spam filter and deleted along with the rest of the horrific junk received in my inbox.

I went on a diatribe yesterday with respect to this very issue. I really resent having to waste time sorting through all this scammy spam e-mail. And, some of it is truly icky.

However, that being said, your letter with the added romantic flavor and avice for alterations(given todays penchant for reading romance) makes for far better reading than some of the crap I've been receiving lately. The vast majority of which doesn't get opened.

Best Regards

Anonymous said...

Your regency speak is awesome. What a hilarious post! I keep getting spam email addressing me as Busty. I do not delete them.

lisabea said...

We should write this one with T.

Abby said...

This is the funniest thing I've read in ages! Is it sad of me that I would read this book?

JenB said...

OMG. So full of win. In fact, OVERFLOWING with win!

You rock my socks off. You need to submit this to Harlequin.

Carolyn Jean said...

Lea: I am getting so much of it, too! Who falls for it?

Lusty: LOL. Well, if somebody addressed me as busty I wouldn't delete either.

LB: Snort. We'll get on it.

Abby: Thanks! I would read it, too actually.

JenB: LOL. Like a new kind of scam time travel.

Lea said...

Hell if I know Carolyn! However, if they do fall for it they are buck stupid!!!

"Dr. Ogechi Martins? - seriously???"


Carolyn Jean said...

Lea: Totally the real name. Aren't the names sometimes the best part?

Kati said...

Dear CJ:

I know you're married, but you wanna have a hot little affair with me? You're just the coolest chick EVAR!

Thanks for a terrific laugh on a shitty, rainy day in DC.


Renee said...

My husband and I had a laugh reading your wonderful letter! I'd buy it, but it needs a really good descriptive Harlequin title.

The Foreign Nigerian Millionaire's Fake Bride

or something (I'm sure you can come up with a better one!) :-)

KMont said...

This was a really excellent post for a Monday. Also, please set me up to handle Hugo's funds. Har.

orannia said...


*wipes tears from eyes*

CJ - that was brilliant! And I'd so buy the book :)

Tumperkin said...

Brilliance! *standing ovation*

Anonymous said...

Carolyn, this is just fantastic--I may be a print-magazine fossil, but I think it should go to Harper's for their front-of-the-magazine section.

Kris said...


sula said...

bravo! This is a letter I would actually read (before deleting).

Dr. Martins, I hope you are paying attention.

Tracy said...

omg I'm laughing so hard I can hardly type.

You are seriously one of the wackiest (and I mean that in a kind and loving way) person I know!

I've gotten this letter and it's much better now!

Carolyn said...

This is so funny! Thank you for brightening my morning.

Kate R said...

Proving once again you are a goddess.

Carrie Lofty said...

Absolutely classic.

Carolyn Jean said...

Kati: Thanks!

Renee: Ooh, that is a perfect title.

KMont: Hugo's funds! Snort.

Orannia: Maybe YOU could handle hugo's funds, too.

T: thanks lil buddy!

Jon: What a nice surprise, a visit from you!

Kris: Thanks. I love your new avatar!

Sula; I got SO many of them!

Tracy: Well, clearly you should answer it.

Carolyn: Thanks, other Carolyn.

Kate: Aww, thanks!

Carrie: Thanks, Carrie!

Julie James said...

This seriously cracks me up. Any further witty reply I could try to come up with would be seriously deficient so I'll just go with that. ;-)

Julie James said...

Ha-- proved my own point. Love that I used "seriously" twice in the span of two sentences. I think I need more coffee.

l said...

that was awesome! thanks for the laughter even tho my sides really hurt....

Ladytink_534 said...

Very creative! I sure hope they don't take your suggestions as I would hate to have to read those spam things lol.

Sarah said...

snerk. Too funny!

M. said...

now I'm going to have to divide my precious time even more ways, actually looking at future spam for comic potential before deleting.

I have a brief bit about viagra spam in my MS, but always overlooked the next of kin bank account situation.

Aymless said...

LOL! Love the commentary! Thanks for the pick me up!

Kwana said...

Hugo: rowrrr! Loves it! You gave me my best laugh of the week. I'll never look at one of these letters the same again. Oh how I <3 thee.

samantha.1020 said...

You are a hoot! I loved this but can't say that I've ever opened up any of this spam myself. I just send it straight to the delete button :)