Thursday, 27 September 2007

Time for Bloggers to Help fight Internet Hoaxers...

There is this sad story of a chap who died recently.
In his last years he was a walking dustbin. He was picking stuff from litter, sleeping rough and mumbling to himself. A sorry sight. Prior to this deterioration I had met him a couple of times and he always showed me cuttings from international lottery brochures. They included photographs of ordinary men and women who previously poor were now wealthy so and so’s …spending holidays in huge private ships in the Caribbean, St. Lopez and Rio, like our celebrity stars and idols.
I will call him Mangi, which means Chief, in my native language, Kichagga.
Mangi thought he was a king in waiting, in other words he dreamt, walked, danced, jived and lived The Dream. It began in the mid-1990’s when he received through his letter box (in the days that spam tumbled through the door, nowadays called junk mail) Lottery letters from Hong Kong and Australia. All he had to pay was a mere Ten pounds to win 30 thousand million Dollars, tax free. Who wouldn’t want that kind of money? Even monks and the extremely religious would love it and hand it to charity. US$ 30,000,000 Tax free?
And how did I first meet Mangi?

The gorgeous, attractive wife of Mangi was sleeping with a friend of mine, who does not live in London anymore (in case you were wondering), and by the time Mangi was Sectioned and a spent case, they would openly attend functions as any other normal couple. She had given up hope with Mangi because ( he was past listening) and was spending all the money on the Australian and Hong Kong lottery; they were not even sleeping together, and she desperately wanted children and she was young and she was desperate and his ear was only glued to the lottery, the lottery, The Lottery…
In between these chimes and bells my pal introduced me to Mangi.
I was the instant friend.
“They think I am going crazy…” He confided.
“The world is so unfair, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is Freddy; they don’t believe in trying, in dreaming in winning.”( I was wondering who were They, but didn’t dare ask. Jittery folks are extra sensitive)
“Have you won anything, yet?”
He spread the sheets on the table. Lottery brochures. Many photographs of previous and current winners. Loads.
“Which one is yours?”
He sighed; tightened his lips “My time will come…”
“When?”
“Don’t doubt me Freddy. We will soon be eating with Bill Clinton (those were the pre-Bush years, before September Eleven), rocking to Mick Jagger and the Spice Girls.”
(We? Was I suddenly a Mangi too?)
As he bling bling blinged and blung blung blunged, his wife and the man who was shagging her behind his sorry ass made faces; it is still pitiful, painful panorama, recalling a decade later.
Of course Mangi the Chief never won anything and as times rolled by he wallowed further, diving deeper into the misfortune of paying, sinking into this dreadful international lottery scam.
Today these hoax lottery cons have penetrated the digital technology and as you all know it is getting more and more ferocious. It has meandered through well written spam emails telling stories about deposed world wide leaders. It sucks into topical tragedies and uses these sad events, to beg and exploit our conscience.
“Don’t share this secret with anyone, I only need your bank account to hide this money…”
Utter yak.
We all know these emails. Extending further than during the days of the late Mangi, back in 1997. Yahoo Mail winners, Spanish lottery, Amsterdam what not, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria…the desk of Ahmed Bello, the sister of former Ivory Coast Minister…Halleluyah!
The hoax letters are so ridiculous in their promises (that) it is an insult to our intelligence. The point is while those living in rich countries do not believe in this hype, it is the vulnerable poor from underdeveloped societies who are starting to believe in this ONGOING shit. I receive desperate emails (all the time). The other day a young Tanzanian student accused his uncle and parents of not helping him with a small loan to secure his sudden win.
“I have told them to just lend me 50,000 Tanzanian shillings; that I will repay them soon. What is 50 thousand shillings in front of 30 million Dollars?”
The poor boy believed he could liberate himself paying the inflation rigged East African Shilingi to win the American Dream. When Anne Lennox was singing about sweet dreams in the 1980’s she meant a Fighter's dream not this gangster led sour dreams.
I think it is time bloggers went on the case of this emotional blackmailing. This internet racket is exploiting the feelings of the poor and the vulnerable. Let us all help stop it.

1 comment:

Don said...

I agree 100%. Great blog