Sunday, March 09, 2008

E-mail scam spam!

Having fun.

Well, lookee here! I just got this wonderful opportunity in my e-mail (actually, in my spam drawer). I'd ask you to share in the "booty" with me, as well, if you are really interested, but...

It looks almost real. On a whim, I googled Andy Burnham, MP, and found out, lo and behold, that he is a REAL person! And even a REAL Labor MP in the UK. Your usual Nigerian scam letter is from some wrong-side-of-the blanket by-blow of some African general or president who isn't even a real person, or some made-up ex-colonial bureaucrat going on about mysterious plane crashes and secret diamond deals from fake mines in Angola. But EPE (UK) Ltd is a real company, and they really do specialize in filtration products; they are located in northern Wales and a a subsidiary of a German firm headquartered in Ketsch, a few miles southwest of Heidelberg. Mr Burnham is 38, an up-and-coming young star in the Labour Party and really is in High Chancellor Gordon Brown's cabinet. And being a Labor MP, he is probably crooked enough to have done an under-the-table deal like that with his bent counterparts in Moscow!

Of course, like almost all Nigerian scam letters, this one doesn't quite live up to the standards necessary for a really good scam. It is easy enough (at least for the select audience I'm sending this to, but sadly NOT to the general American public, especially many under the age of 30 or so) to see that the grammar is not up to the standards of a graduate of Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge, even if he HAS been a Labourite since age 14 and a good trades union member. And while Mr. Burnham was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (though with no background in economics or finance; I don't know what he read at Cambridge), until 24 JAN 2008, he is now Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, a vastly more important job which indicates that he is being groomed for bigger things in the Labour party. The letter is almost two months out of date.

Much as I would LOVE to turn this over to the local Leigh constituency branch of the British libertarian party, or even the Tory or Social Democrat-Liberal branch to use as ammo to attack the most likely corrupt "Honorable" Burnham, MP, it probably is obvious even to the average Leigh voter that this is bogus.

Now, my point. If we can see this as the fraud it is, why on EARTH do we allow politicians to constantly defraud us on similar "share-the-wealth" schemes like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, oil-company taxation, $700 billion "investment schemes" and such like? Mr. Burnham most likely is NOT the author of this pathetic little scam spam, but based on his career and his associations, he is probably party to far bigger swindles than the mere 14 million GBP supposedly involved in this; like the vast increase in NHS funding which has been so touted by both the Blair and Brown Labourite governments and which has led to longer waiting lines than ever for basic medical care in the UK.

I will bet that if I were incredibly stupid and wrote back to "Burnham" I could not get him to give me any references or testimonials as to the 1.7 million he is offering to share. But every day, I read glowing reports in the newspapers and hear much the same on radio about how wonderful single-payer health care (like Britain's NHS or Canada's) is so wonderful and needed in the USA, and how the politicians in Congress and the Legislatures and the Administration are going to solve all our problems and make us all wealthy and healthy and happy... It doesn't make what the politicians are promising today in the USA any less a scam than what "Burnham" is offering in this e-mail. Much of government today is nothing more than a more carefully crafted and more successful Nigerian scam, Ponzi scheme, or pyramid scam. And I hope we can not forget it, and help other people to see that is the case, as well.

The original scam e-mail:

Dear Friend,

I am The Rt Hon. Andy Burnham MP, (Chief Secretary to The Treasury UK) I was a member of a committee that Brokered a deal between EPE (UK) Ltd, an oil Filtration Company that executed an oil filtration contract for the Russian Government during the regime of Tony Blair who just stepped down for Gordon Brown our New Prime Minister. We the committee members had an Over invoiced amount of £14,000,000.00 which we Had kept aside for ourselves but could not share Immediately. The Change of the office of the prime Minister has presented an opportunity for us to share The money amongst ourselves hence my contacting you.

My share of the booty is (£1.750,000.00) One Million seven hundred and fifty thousand GBP. Due to my Position as an MP in UK here. I can not invest the Money here or have a foreign account hence I am Seeking a reliable person who will receive this money on my behalf for investment purposes. The money was Deposited in a non investment holding account with a Bank here in UK.

I am sincerely seeking your assistance to receive this Amount. Please if you can assist in investing this Fund in any good investment in your country or any Country of your Choice. If you agree to Help, you will be entitled to 10% of the total amount While we will agree on your commission on the Investment later. If you are willing to assist, get back to me with Your Full Name, Address and contact details.

The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP

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