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I spy with my beady eye ...

23 Jan 2008

Do I look that stupid?

Look what just plopped into my inbox ...

Subject: Capital Investment and Management Request

Dear Friend,

I am a freelance, independent investment broker based here in Britain.

My client wishes to invest a part of his financial estate into productive ventures in your country under your direct supervision.

He looks to make this investment discreetly under discretionary asset Management arrangement, in the areas of agriculture, real estate, transport, oil and gas and other viable venture(s) which you might recommend. I have contacted you on the consideration that I could discuss with you on the possibility of my client placing this fund with you for management either in your existing establishment or other venture to be undertaken at your discretion under terms to be agreed upon. He Prefers that this investment be made in your country.

I would be expecting your response in order that we may discuss further in detail.

Please write through my email address so that we may work out modalities.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. William Smith

"Mr. William Smith" is clearly a pseudonym: no-one loves that word "modalities" quite as much as those kinky West African 419ers. What is it with "modalities"? Is it one of the standard English words taught in West African high schools? Or is it just a meme? I'll have to ask my Nigerian colleagues ...

Meanwhile, I reported the email to abuse@google.com with the original header and got a useful auto-reply:

Thank you for your report. Your email has been provided to the Gmail Abuse team.

To help us process your request as quickly as possible, we recommend visiting the Gmail Privacy & Security topic at


Your email has been provided to the Gmail Abuse team. Any additional information that you provide through the forms in the Gmail Security Center will be added to your original message, and will help us to more efficiently process your request.

Google takes abuse situations very seriously -- your claim will be given the highest priority. When submitting a claim through our Security Center, please include as much information as possible, so that the Gmail Abuse team can investigate thoroughly and work quickly to resolve your claim. As appropriate, we may warn users or discontinue Gmail service for the
account(s) in question. For privacy and security reasons, we may not reveal the final outcome of an abuse case to the person who reported it.
To read the Gmail Terms of Use, please visit http://mail.google.com/gmail/help/terms_of_use.html.

If your issue is not related to abuse, you may want to visit our Help Center at http://mail.google.com/support/, or by clicking 'Help' at the top of any Gmail page within your account.

We appreciate the urgent nature of your message, and thank you for your cooperation.


The Google Team

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