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August 8, 2003

Posted by Teresa at 11:03 PM *

Has anyone else gotten spam that claims to be from Fredrick Taylor, younger brother of President Charles Taylor of Liberia? I got one forwarded to me from Jerry Kaufman and Suzle Tompkins:

Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 01:53:52 +0100 From:

Dear friend,

Greetings, how are you, business and family? I hope all is well with you. I know you might wonder how I got to know your name and email address. I got it from the Presidential library. My name is Fredrick Taylor, the junior brother to president Charles Taylor of the country of Liberia. Please this a very confidential letter and treat it very secret.

The rebel forces are coming very close topple my brothers government and to worsen the situation the United Nation had issue a warrant for his arrest on war crimes. Under my custody are boxes containing $25million. If the rebel forces enters and over throw my brother’s government, they will take the money. I have hidden boxes containing the fund and I have the authority to use the Diplomatic courier service now that my brother is still in power to you the boxes of fund for safe keeping to any address of your choice tagged Diplomatic luggage without questioning, with your name as the beneficiary.

Further more,when you get the boxes in three days you notify me immediately so that I will come to your country to spilt the fund.

It shall be 60% for me and 40% for you period. My own share will be used for investment in your country.

If you agree and to be an honest individual for this transaction reply me immediately through this email address:

It is very urgent.

Best regards,
Fredrick Taylor
That’s a shoo-in for this year’s award for topicality in a 419 scam.

Do we know whether Charles Taylor actually has a younger brother? He probably does; most scammers aren’t that creative. But as I’ve observed here before, the wonderful thing about the Spanish Prisoner con is that not only is it not necessary that the prisoner exist; it’s not necessary that Spain exist.

It would be amusing to run a 419 scam based on current events in some nonexistent country, or nonexistent current events in some real country, just to see what kind of responses you’d get.

#1 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2003, 11:32 PM:

And if he does, should his name be spelled Fredric, Fredrick, Frederic, Frederik, or Frederick?

(Skiffy joke, don't ask)

Silly me,

#2 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 12:45 AM:

next: one from Saddam himself.

#3 ::: Maureen Kincaid Speller ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 12:46 AM:

Yes, I found it in my in-box this very morning. I am touched by the thought that Charles Taylor's younger brother is taking care of business while the country falls around him. But then, I was always touched by the thought that Maryam Abacha spent so much time emailing the world about her financial difficulties.

Now, where's the delete button gone.

#4 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 01:01 AM:

I found a spam in my e-mail yesterday that was so amusing I put it on my Live Journal. It proclaims itself to be a plea from a stranded time-traveler, looking for spare parts. I disemvoweled the e-mail addresses in the message, though.

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 01:05 AM:

Oh, I've gotten the time traveler letter. I liked that one.

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 03:38 AM:

Y'know, Saddam actually DID have a third son, of whom not much is known. Good candidate for a scam-letter sender.

#7 ::: Jane Yolen ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 06:32 AM:

Or Saddam's daughters, safe now, could run the scam. Though I hardly think they are in need of money.

I still like the Orc from Mordor one best.

They seem to be escalating, however. I got three or four new ones this week alone.


#8 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 09:26 AM:

"Saddam actually DID have a third son..."

To which I reply, in my best Sam Drucker voice, "You mean Ernie? the little kid with th' glasses?"

(I suppose the world isn't exactly full of people who will admit having watched "Petticoat Junction.")

#9 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 12:28 PM:

We watched the first part of the documentary "When We Were Kings" the other day. It's about the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman fight in Zaire in 1974. Mobutu Sese Seko is a prominent figure in the documentary. "Hey," I said. "I got e-mail from his wife just the other day."

#10 ::: Jon Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2003, 01:08 PM:

For the mildly curious, Charles Taylor has (or had at some point) six siblings. Presumably one of them would fit the bill.

#11 ::: Agnes ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2003, 06:00 AM:

I found this message in my in-box this morning. If it's so secret, why we all know about it? :P

#12 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2003, 10:53 PM:

Geesh, I got it too. But remember, this is a secret (lol)

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