Spamming the spammers

We've all had them - the emails from an Arab sheik who is desperate to share his life savings with you, the Nigerian chap whose wife has died of some nasty illness, and who is now on the run from the government and needs you to sort out her estate (and inherit her £20 million of course).

Recently I've had loads of emails from the FBI who think I can win the war on terror, and want to pay me for it; and then there's the Russian beauty who's spotted me from afar, and is desperate for us to meet (although she's seen me from afar, she is a little confused as to exactly which sex I am, but then why be biased against someone's poor eyesight?).

While on Facebook the other week I came across James Veitch, who like the rest of us has had more than one spammy email during his time on the net. Rather than consigning them straight to Trash, James Veitch (rhymes with peach) decided to respond to the spammers, and then wrote a book about his experiences.

Dot con is a slim volume, but is also one of the funniest books I've ever read. One of my favourites was the [very usual] spam of a friend in distress. Friend was allegedly stuck in Manila after being mugged - James was needed to provide some money so friend could leave country. Would James oblige? Yes, of course he would, but only if friend provided a review of his book first. Hilarity ensues as the hapless spammer becomes the spammee, and tries to give a review of a book whose plot revolves around milkmaids and robots (the mind boggles).

I need a new passport, please...
Then there was Keith, the Yorkshire terrier, in negotiations with the British Embassy, and the case of the missing Russian cat - can you love a woman who forgets her cat?

I think why this works so gloriously well is that we've all been there. We've all had spam mail. We've almost certainly all had that moment of wondering (just briefly) if there is any truth in the email. Veitch both pokes fun gloriously successfully at the spammers, and gets a little bit of revenge on them.

Well worth a read.


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