Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Junk Mail: Syrian Edition

السلام عليكم و رحمه الله و بركاته
انا ارمله من سوريا دمشق , و قد تأثرت عائلتى و زوجى بسبب الاسلحه الكيميائيه مما ادى الى وفاه زوجى و اولادى انا احتاج الى شخص يخاف الله اقدر اثق فيه مشان يساعدنى بأستلام صناديق زوجى ياللى بها 7,2 مليون دولار محفوظين بمكتب الامم المتحده أغراض عائليه و هو حفظهم قبل وفاته بالولايات المتحده بسبب تأثره بالأسلحه الكيميائيه . ارجوك اخى راح اكون سعيده كتير اذا بتقدر تساعدنى .

This is an email from a woman claiming to be from Damascus, a widow who had lost her husband and children to chemical weapons (victim of recent well-publicised war or disaster: check).  She wants someone trustworthy and God-fearing (appeal to decency and morality and religious duty to help: check) to help her get boxes of her husband’s containing 7.2 million dollars (need help getting huge amount of money from somewhere: check) which he’d stored in the office of the United Nations (fabulously wealthy person dead due to war stores crates full of cash at…which UN office?  There are lots and lots.  Besides, nobody does that), and their family possessions which he’d stored in the United States (what, where,and with whom?) before his death (good planning, sir!) from the effects of chemical weapons (repeat the sad bits again after mentioning the supposed millions: check).  She will be very happy if anyone can help her.

It’s obviously a 411 scam; the letter was written by a real person somewhere.  The dialect looks accurate enough – a little uneven, could be a Syrian toning down their dialect so that other Arabs can understand - but anyone who’d watched Syrian soap operas could write that.   

But.  This was written by a real person somewhere, who might be Syrian, and even if they’re not, there are a lot of poor and displaced Arabic speakers who could write for 411 scams.  They’re not going to be earning much working that gig, and they might be getting into bigger trouble.  But all this is speculation: I don't know this hypothetical person's situation.

و عليكم السلام يا كاتبة الرسالة.
 سامحيني, ما بقدر أساعدك بمشكلة هذي الخيالية أو بمشاكلك الحقيقية.  الله يعينكم جميعا و ينصركم إذا كنتم على الحق.  و الله يرحم أقاربك اللي ماتوا, لأن كل شخص منا عنده حبايب ميت, خاصة انتو أهل سوريا (إذا هذا كان جنسيتك الحقيقية, و حتى إذا ما كان), و يعطيهم جنة الفردوس و يفتح عليكم.

الله معكم

No I didn't send it.  It's just another 411 scam. And a dua is not meaningful help.

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