Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Never Trust Anything On the Internet

As a rule, we at Very Little Known Facts do not “raise the alarm” over every unsolicited email that lands in our inbox. But we felt obligated to take a stand against the odious, underhanded, and reprehensible missive we received earlier today from the developing nation of Nigeria.


This was the title of the email we received, and of course we opened it—after all, urgency was called for in the very title!

The email went on to explain that the authors were civil servants in the deeply troubled capital of Lagos (formerly Nigeria City). Their mastery of English grammar and proper usage left something to be desired, but despite this one thing was very clear: utmost secrecy was required. This was odd because the email itself was unencrypted. But consider this: if email encryption was made available to Sub-Saharan Africa, then this technology could fall into the hands of terrorists or even pirates.

It was obvious that these besieged bureaucrats had contacted us because of our international reputation as peons of integrity, bastions of virtue and rightness. They knew they could trust Very Little Known Facts with their urgent request to transfer US$21,320,000.00 from the Central Bank of Nigeria into our account, 20% of which was earmarked for our Facilitator’s Fee.


Apparently the aforementioned Nigerians INTENDED TO CIRCUMVENT ESTABLISHED FINANCIAL PROCEDURES FOR INTERNATIONAL MONETARY TRANSFER. Shocking! And without impugning the motives of these dedicated civil servants, we must point out that the aforementioned circumventation could be seen as an attempt to avoid such penalties, fees, and taxes as would fall due to the United States Government. We, for one, would not stand for such disregard for the Rule of Law.

So take heed, dear readers. If you receive a similar request in your inbox, be sure to provide the sender your name, bank account routing information, social security number, mother’s maiden name, and all necessary user names and passwords. But when you provide them, MAKE SURE the recipient intends to fully comply with all applicable laws. As we told Dr. Clement Okon of Nigeria, only after the appropriate financial penalties have been assessed will we be willing to accept our 20% Facilitator’s Fee, because that is the right thing to do.


PRan said...

Dear Jon Black and Britt Bergman,
I wold like to point out another error. From where ever you got the map, it is wrong in that the island to right of African peninsula is named as Ceylon. It actually should be Madagaskar. Ceylon was the coonial name of present Cri Lanka where I am from. Ironically some chieftains were banished to Madagaskar from Ceylon when England captured Sri Lanka in 1815

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Thank you for your comment. It is certainly true that Ceylon was the colonial name of Sri Lanka. Please note that the map of Africa is not "to scale," meaning that the island of Ceylon was included for size comparison only. We certainly never meant to imply financial irregularities in the Sri Lankan civil service! Thanks again for your insightful comment.