I recognized the email address. I hadn’t heard from John in ages. He is quite the world traveler and author of two great books, so I was eager to hear about his newest adventure.
I hope this find you well. As for me, I’ve had run of bad luck. I am travel here in Spain and on way to airport. I realize I had been robbed. I have no money and am in desperate need of funds. Would you mind terrible going to a Western Union office and send me 1200 Euros. Here is the exchange rate to dollars 1,350.00 EUR=1,693.78 USD. Friend in need, John
Poor John, he not only lost his money but also forgot the proper use of the past and present tense. And he calls himself a writer. Even worse, he got a rotten exchange rate. You can’t run a scam from an airport currency booth. You need to work with a reputable bank.
I called John at his home in Greenwood to be sure I was correct in my assumption that this email was a swindle. He answered on the first ring. “Buenos Dias” he said.
“Very funny, John. I guess you know that your computer was hacked.”
“Yes, I found out earlier today. Did you send the money?”
“Of course not.”
“What if it had really been me? Would you have helped me out? Just curious.”
He brought up an interesting point, which gave me an idea. I’d clean up the original email, stick in a few personal references and see how many of my so-called friends were really friends.
TO: (Eric, Aaron, Phil, Toby, Ginny, Chuck, Dennis, Dan, Seth, Tim, Bob)
FR: DICK WOLFSIE
SUBJECT: DIRE STRAITS
I am at the Eiffel Tower and was pickpocketed. I have no money and no credit card. I can’t reach Mary Ellen at the hotel. I don’t even have cab money. Could you send 500 dollars to the Western Union Office here in Paris? —Dick