Sometimes I respond to spam emails instead of junking them. It’s a poor form of entertainment, but occasionally a good yarn comes of it. This latest one was gripping.
It starts with Mary Zingaga, daughter of a wealthy industrialist, inheriting a small fortune.
Subject: HELLO Beloved
It is my pleasure to write you after consideration. Please I need your help. I’m Miss mary sarah zinganga, the only Daughter of late Mr. Adams Zinganga, from Cote D’Ivoire. My late father was a liability Cocoa and Gold merchant in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire before his untimely death. He died after his business trip to Tunisia, to negotiate on a cocoa and gold business he wanted to invest in Tunisia, a week after he came back from Tunisia he fore sick and died in a private hospital. On that faithful afternoon, I did not know that my father was going to leave me after I had earlier lost my mother when I was still a baby, but before he gave up the ghost, it was as if he knew he was going to die. My beloved late father, (MAY YOUR GENTLE SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE) Amen. Before he finally gave up, he called me to his bed side and told me that he deposited the sum of ($2,500,000.00) Two Million five hundred thousand Dollar in a bank:
He said the money was meant for his cocoa and Gold business he wanted to establish in Tunisia. The fund in question was deposited in a fixed suspense account and he used my name as the next of kin. He instructed me to seek for a reliable and trust-worthy business partner for my life time investment abroad. Now I have succeeded in locating the deposit documents and the bank where the fund was deposited in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire is expecting me to present my partner for them to process the release of the funds. Due to my present situation in Cote D’Ivoire. I am now seeking for your assistance to help me transfer this money out from my country Cote D’Ivoire to your account abroad to enable us invest it in any meaningful and lucrative business in your country because this is my only hope in life. I am willing to offer you 15% of the total fund if only you can help me out of my present predicament.
I seek your assistance in the following ways:
(1.) To stand as my foreign partner for the funds transfer into your country.
(2.) To make arrangements for me to come over there and further my studies after the successful transferring of the funds into your bank account.
(3.) To help invest this money in a profitable business since I am only 22 years of age and do not know much about business.
(4.) I want you to promise me that you are not going to betray me after the money gets into your account.
There’s great flavour here — a death in the family, a cocoa and gold empire, the promise of a lucrative business partnership. It gets juicier.
The worst part of it is that my uncle is trying to kill me over this money because I refused to hand him over the documents covering this money, He has sold all my father’s landed properties including his company and private cars which rightful belong to me and now he want me to hand over the banking document of my father in my possession which I refused. Now he said that he will have this money by all means even if it means killing me, so because of this, I ran away from the family compound and hide in a hotel. I am counting so much on you to enable the bank transfer the funds so that I can leave the country to come over there for my safety and also further my education.
A murderous uncle!? Suddenly there’s more at stake than $2.5m. I’d be morally bankrupt to ignore someone in such peril.
Subject: Re: HELLO Beloved
This is one helluva proposition. I too enjoy business. Let’s transfer that dough ASAP and sell some cocoa beanz!
Mary’s reply asks for my personal information — address, phone number, passport — and reiterates the danger that her homicidal relations pose. It occurs to me that if this uncle would kill his niece, he won’t hesitate to bump off a stranger. $375k is a handsome sum, but not when it requires risking your life. I negotiated.
I’ve thought about your proposal more, and I’d like to raise my share of the fund from 15% to 35%. I don’t wish to be greedy, but I hear that cocoa beans are dangerous business, not to mention your uncle.
Subject: Re: HELLO Beloved
Greetings dear Mathew may God bless you and your family . sorry for the late reply you said you want 35 percent of the money no problem i agreed with you.
You know when someone accepts your terms so quickly that you should have demanded more. Lesson learned. She goes on:
i really appreciate your kind and urgent message.please am trusting you with all my heart and i know you will not fall me.my uncle has been on my neck he just want to kill me by all mix. as am writing to you i went and hide in a near by church because he located the hotel i were i was hiding. he have sold all my late father properties now he want the money just to render me useless i cant allow him to have the money because this is all i have left
Now she seeks sanctuary in a church! Jeepers. Fortunately I know a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat.
Subject: Re: HELLO Beloved
Hi Mary, I’ll get that info to you shortly, but first I want to make sure that you’re alright. Here’s a video of self-defence techniques: https://youtu.be/IfS02WjRU8g
Our correspondence petered out after a few more messages back and forth. As far as I know, Mary is still hiding from her uncle in a church in Côte d’Ivoire, cold-calling strangers on the Internet, desperate to find a business partner. I’m sad it won’t be me. I should have sent my passport.
I hope you’re alright Mary Zingaga. Godspeed.