This week I’d like to take a moment and give a big shout out and a huge thank you to my new best buddy, Teodoro Chowhurdy.
I don’t actually know Chowhurdy personally, but he sent me an email the other day from his totally legitimate-sounding email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. It was a very helpful email alerting me to some recent account activity in one of my many accounts.
The subject of your helpful email was “Operational Expense.” I want to thank you, Teodoro, for alerting me to the fact that an operational expense of 7,109,91 USD has been credited from my account. I do have a few questions, though.
Here in America we generally put the first comma between the hundredth and the thousandth place, so I’m not totally sure if you’re telling me that just over seven hundred thousand dollars has been credited from my account, or just over seven million. Either way it’s rather alarming. I sincerely wish I had an account with a large enough balance that either one of those scenarios would be possible, but unfortunately for both of us, I do not.
Secondly, you’re using the word ‘credited,’ but then saying that this comma-undetermined amount of money was “credited from” my account. We usually use the word ‘credited’ as an indication of an addition to someone’s account.
You might have meant to say “withdrawn from your account,” but I’m hopeful that you misused the word ‘from’ and you really meant to tell me that a large sum of USD was credited to my account. That would be sweet. Either way, my accounts all seem to be at their normal, depressing balances. Please advise.
You also invited me to view the details of this comma and directionally-confusing transaction by referring to the report that you so helpfully attached to the email. The report, however, was inexplicably named “caution_ma.zip.”
Now, Mr. Chowhurdy, I’m certainly no expert in what they call ‘spam’ or ‘phishing,’ but I have heard that many not-so-legitimate emails contain viruses meant to steal my passwords, hijack my email, or lock me out of my computer in some nefarious fashion. You wouldn’t do something like that, would you, Teodoro?
Not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that I’ve heard those viruses usually show up in a .zip file, and the one you sent me starts with the word ‘caution,’ like some sort of subtle, covert warning...
Could it be that you are really trying to warn me that this isn’t on the up and up?
That’s it, isn’t it, Mr. Chowhurdy? You really are my friend. That’s why you put the comma in the wrong place. That’s why you misused the word ‘credited.’ That’s why I haven’t seen any unusually large activity, either coming or going, on any of my accounts. That’s why the file name on the attachment is so foreboding. You’re warning me, aren’t you?
Are you being held against your will and forced to attempt to scam people out of their money by bad guys who don’t speak or write English? Is that how you were able to sneak that ridiculously incomprehensible amount of USD and that utterly preposterous file name past them? That’s it, isn’t it? You are a genius, Chowhurdy!
How can I help you? They must have you chained to a desk somewhere, or maybe they threatened your family if you didn’t cooperate. I’d hate to think that Mrs. Chowhurdy and the little Chowhurdys are in danger. What can I do? You’ve been so kind to me, I need to help you out of this horrible situation.
Maybe if you were to actually credit my account with some actual USD I could use the money to hire a mercenary group to find you, neutralize the bad guys, and set you and the Chowhurdy family free.
Hit me back and I’ll get you my PayPal info. Thanks, man. Stay strong.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen
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