A new take on the Nigerian scam

We get these letters via email all the time. 99% of them are screened out by our spam filters, but they keep right on coming.

Can you imagine anyone being so dense as to fall for such an obvious scam?

Attention recipient of email,

Welcome from world of Bank in Nigeria, I am Mr. Jamie Dimon, 
I wish to inform you that your lost funds has been approved by 
world of Bank and your File has been signed by Ministry of 
Finance to compensate you for complete destruction of your 
banking, mortgage and insurance companies of the America. So 
after our today's meeting with the board members we finalized 
to credit you with the ATM Visa card. My associate here in 
Nigeria will send you a a Card for your many uses. And issue 
you the ATM visa Card, So all you need to do is to contact The 
Mister Steven Mnuchin who will insist DHL Express Delivery 
Company regarding your VISA card, And do not forget to forward 
your delivery Details and payment to us as you make contact to 
enable to deliver The ATM valued to your doorstep.

To reclaim your financial system which we have left in shambles 
before running away to Nigeria for tax shelter (or the White 
House for new jobs), Submit your full information, also ask them 
how long you receive your ATM VISA CARD Package registered to 
them by world of Bank Director Mr. Jamie Dimon,

1. Your Full name_____
2. Your Address______
3. Your Phone Number____
4. Your age/sex______
5. Your country_____
6. Your occupation____

Director: Mister Steven Mnuchin 
Tel: +22xxxxxxx
E-mail: xxxxxxxxx@outlook.com

Also make to sure to include check certified for $700 billion USD. 
We will keep hold on your money system and the ATM visa Card for 
safekeeping until check arrives in Nigeria You must please truyst 
us. We are here to help that is why your the ATM visa Card will be 
coming to you for many good purchases.

Your expecting Package is Read in DHL Express Delivery Company 
Benin Republic, and you are to reconfirm your information to them 
and as soon as you reconfirm it and pay the ransom fee, them will 
give you your Package tracking Number for you to track and know 
when you expecting Package will arrive to your home address.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Jamie Dimon

Note: The basic content of the above letter was taken from an actual spam message I received. It didn’t have to be significantly modified to describe a real scam that we’ve fallen victim to once before and will again if we don’t wise up.

The All American Motel

Over two years ago, I wrote a post that was the first installment of a five-part short story. The story, “The Night I Woke Up”, described a vague remembrance from a childhood vacation. A few paragraphs into the tale, I briefly mentioned another memory from the same trip. That recollection might have contributed to an undercurrent of dread during that time of my life.

Here’s a snippet from that post:

We usually split the trip into two supposedly more manageable segments by spending a night in the cheapest, i.e. sleaziest, motel in North Carolina. (If you think sleazy, motel, and North Carolina is a redundancy, you’re not far off the mark. One of those joints could justify a story in itself. More than likely, it will.)

Well, it’s been a couple of years, but that joint, as implied, is about to have its very own post.

The motel in question was called “The All American Motel”. How much more promising could it be? We were an all-American family traveling in an all-American car (a Rambler, believe it or not) down the all-American east coast. The sun had set and we were well beyond exhausted and agitated from driving with three boys and their parents crammed into a vehicle for several hours. It was either stop and crash or continue on and, more than likely, crash.

In the darkness, the All American looked like the place to be. A full parking lot, a swimming pool, and all American. (My impression of what constitutes “all American” has changed since then, not in a positive direction.) What more could we ask for? We registered. We went to the room.

Not good.

There’s a reason motels have pretty much fallen out of favor in this country. They were never big on cleanliness or security. The All American set a new substandard for both. This place was disgusting. Putrescence was the decor of choice. The carpet had the consistency of Play-Doh, but stickier. The bathroom—I don’t even want to remember the bathroom. It might have had cockroaches, but if not, it was only because even the cockroaches have limits. Random lagoons of standing water probably bred entire civilizations of toxins. They should have dispensed antibiotics with every stay.

That night we went to a nearby restaurant, a dark and dingy steak house with a repulsive name like “Meaty D-Luxe” or such. The only thing I remember clearly from that dump was that the waitress was so creepy—kind of a female Norman Bates—we bolted from the place without even ordering. I’m not sure we ate anything that night. We were all too freaked out.

Back at the All American, we peeled apart the vile sheets and blankets, oozed into the beds, and somehow slept. The prospect of swimming in the pool the next day was the one hopeful thought that kept us kids going.

The All American wasn’t at its best in daylight because, well, you could see the place. The highly anticipated pool was a bust. It contained only about a foot of some kind of gelatinous fluid—it certainly wasn’t water. You wouldn’t have to be Jesus to walk across the surface of the thing.

The parking lot was still full, but…

There was something amiss with the cars. First of all, they were all ancient. No model was from the previous 30 years. Yet they all looked in good shape. That was only because every visible surface, all the metal, chrome, and tires of each vehicle had been freshly painted. The tires, while painted the colors of the cars: blue, red, white, whatever, were all flat. The license plates, also painted, were from decades before our stay. Not a single car in the lot was a real, running car.

Except ours.

We remedied that situation by tearing away as quickly as our little Rambler could ramble. I’m not sure we packed our stuff. We might have left it behind, afraid it was crawling with deadly microscopic life forms unknown to science. Probably whatever they served at the Meaty D-Luxe.

The only redeeming feature of the All American Motel is that it would make a great setting for a horror story. It was for us.

And it is for you now. Sleep well.