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2:06pm on Thursday, 6th December, 2007:

419 Scam


I'm used to getting 419 scam emails that begin like this:

I am Miss Nancy Dawson, the only daughter of my late parents Mr and Mrs Jeremy Dawson. My father was a highly reputable business magnet who operated in the capital of Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad on the 12th September 2005.

However, I was a little surprised to get one yesterday that began like this:

I got your contact after a search for a person with whom I can entrust with a charitable projects.I am Patricia Hewitt, the last Secretary of State for Health here in UK before the present one Alan Johnston. I like to introduce a project that will get to do with charity in your country and any neighboring country: Please let me know what your response will be to an offer to receive charity investment funds in cash if you will understand the fact that I have my reputation and integrity to protect as the last Secretary of State for Health here in UK.

I had a quick look around and it seems Mrs Hewitt has been mangling the English Language thus since August, except (gasp!) it's not her, of course, it's a 419 scammer. I emailed her office on the subject, on the grounds that this could be a dripping tap that no-one has bothered to report, and today heard that the police are investigating.

As it happens, I've emailed Patricia Hewitt once before and had very positive results. I therefore genuinely do hope that people stop sending out scam emails in her name — unlike some politicians, she doesn't deserve it.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).