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August 17, 2008

What the Email Fairy Brought
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:01 PM * 31 comments

Oh, goody! Look what I found in my spam filter!


Par votre hôte:   IKEMBA OKOYE  


I felt very sorry and bad for you, that your life is going to end up like this, I was paid to eliminate you and I have to do it within 10 days.

Meanwhile, I have sent my boys to track you and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation, but I ordered them to stop for a while and not to strike immediately so get

Back to me via this email (

Ikemba Okoye.

  Date:   vendredi 8 août 2008
Heure:   17h 00 - 18h 00  (GMT+01:00)
  Viendrez-vous ?

Répondre à cette invitation
Copyright © 2008  Yahoo! Tous droits réservés. | Conditions d’utilisation | Données personnelles

Goodness! I’m certainly quaking in my shoes! Shall I get back to this fellow? What shall I say?

Ah, I have it! Dear Ikemba: I’m so sorry that your career as a 419 fraudster didn’t work out the way you wanted. Best of luck in your new line of scam! Your friend, Jim

Comments on What the Email Fairy Brought:
#1 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:05 PM:

Well, if they get you, at least we know where to start the investigation.

#2 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:10 PM:

Dammit. Ikemba sounded so reliable on the phone, too.

#3 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:15 PM:

This guy need a new career -- how about mortgage broker?

#4 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:26 PM:

He didn't send the letter out until he found out that the cost to get his "boys" to Colebrook far exceeded the amount he is being paid to assassinate you.

#5 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:34 PM:

Darn it!

I'd felt like such a special little snowflake, but it turns out that not only has Mr. Okoye been hired to perform a lot of hits, but he's been warning all his intended victims, and well over seven hundred of them have already posted his email to their web pages, livejournals, and/or blogs.

Y'know, one of the people who hired him is going to get really ticked off, and one day Mr. Okoye is going to get an email that begins, "I felt very sorry and bad for you...."

#6 ::: Carol Kabat ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:46 PM:

Uncle Jim-
Please feel free to use my ex-husband as a human shield.

Thanks ever so.

#7 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:48 PM:

My very favorite part of this is that it's structured as an Evite.

#8 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 03:53 PM:

I really wish there was some way to reliably track, capture and incarcerate these asshats.

#9 ::: emeraldcite ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 04:36 PM:

He's really stamping all over the hitman-client privilege. He'd better get a lawyer...

#10 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 04:46 PM:

What's with the French language? Someone hired Jean Reno?

#11 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 04:52 PM:

Heheheh. Obviously his plan to lull you into a false sense of security is working like a charm...oops, I

#12 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Sorry -- is that a "SOMEONE YOU CALL YOUR FRIEND, WANTS YOU DEAD" Yahoo group?

#13 ::: Rulial ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 05:05 PM:

Not like this spammer is ever going to be caught, but this has to be more illegal than 419 fraud.

#14 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 05:14 PM:

It's interesting how he had to truncate it to fit it into the eVite format. There's a standard version of this that's been going around for a couple years, which has scared some naïfs half to death.

You can reliably identify the original by the phrase "might just spear your life". This has led to some fine snarking around the 'net.

#15 ::: BuffySquirrel ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 05:16 PM:

Dear Ikemba

Ah, but I know who hired you to kill me, and I've arranged for them to be taken care of. So if you kill me, you won't get paid.

Also, my house is mined.

#16 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Mr. Eko had to find new work after he left the cast of "Lost," but this is disappointing. Surely he could have done better.

#17 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 06:38 PM:

It reminds me of a spoof death threat I got many years ago. It claimed that my life was being filmed by aliens from Alderbaran and that it was the fourth highest rated show on the network. Unfortunately the authors were the producers of "Blue Cheez", the fifth highest rated show on the network, and they were allowing me five minutes to set my affairs in order and scream before disintegrating me.

I'm almost certain the friend who wrote it hasn't turned to scam emails.

#18 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 06:42 PM:

Wow. PublishAmerica is getting desperate ...

#19 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 06:49 PM:

#18: if only they hadn't insisted Ikemba do his own publicity...

#20 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 06:53 PM:

Serge @ 10: Everyone knows the French are trés dangereuse. Tabarnac!

#21 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 07:37 PM:

Write back. Tell Mr. Okoye that you don't like apples, you already have a princess, and woodland creatures are frankly frightened of you.

#22 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 09:00 PM:

Ginger @ 20... Sacrebleu! Some of us are quite nice. Oui, oui.

#23 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 09:46 PM:

Now that's a social network I think could really catch on. You know, except for all the members dropping dead.

#24 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2008, 11:35 PM:

No problem. Just ask your beloved friend, the God-fearing and extremely trustworthy Miriam "Legs" Akimba, to pay him from your share of the ten million quatloos (Q10,000,000) you will be assisting her to transfer from her country.

#25 ::: hedgehog ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 01:25 AM:

I had a deathspam a few months ago. I /knew/ it was all bluster and wind, but that didn't stop me feeling upset and dirty. I reported it, of course, but what can ISPs/IT departments /do/? Pretty much nothing, it seems.

Don't let's forget amid the fun-poking that these vile threats are hurtful in and of themselves.

#26 ::: Nicole TWN ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 10:34 AM:

I've been meaning to get this off my chest for a while now, so here goes:

Bless me, deities of the Internet, for I have sinned. I have aided a 419 scammer.

I was in France last month, visiting family and generally having a blast. And, since wherever I was staying wasn't always convenient to whatever I was doing that day, I frequently dropped by a cybercafe to check the ol' email.

It was in a Lyon cybercafe that I encountered a man who spoke English but very little French--and who needed the sort of help that only a bilingual computer geek could provide. So I patiently walked him through the process of importing files from his thumb drive to Google Docs... which is when, from a glance at the document, I couldn't help but notice that he was almost certainly running a 419 scam.

I extricated myself from the vicinity very quickly, and still feel vaguely guilty that I didn't call him on his scammin' ways.

Anyone have an idea of what kind of penance I should perform?

#27 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 11:06 AM:

What I find intriguing is that he doesn't offer to NOT kill you...just says you should contact him. Presumably to confim your address for his minions.

#28 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 12:18 PM:

I just got one that started like this:

How are you and your family I hope fine? Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics.
It's the classic Nigerian scam, not a death threat, but I thought that second sentence was priceless.

#29 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 01:30 PM:

"I have the money you ask for. Just have one of your boys who is tracking me come up and ask for it and use the password, and I'll pay him."

See how long you can make the correspondence continue before he gives up. (You'll also learn more of his email addresses to get canceled.)

#30 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 02:31 PM:

Nicole #26: The appropriate penance is to return, and when you see him (or somebody else) sending 419s, call the police.

#31 ::: Tobias Steinhorst ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2008, 03:56 PM:

Just offer him the diamonds you got from the nephew of the Nigerian president, if he let's you live, all he has to do, is to send you his id papers.

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