The other day, everyone I knew received an email blast from the same person. This is what he wrote (typos and all):
From: Valentin [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Letter from Russia
My name is Valentin, I am a student and I write you from little Russian city. I found several addresses on Internet and I decided to send you this letter. Our local library give free Internet access for students.
I live with my mother, she cannot see since many years and I take care of her. My father left our family when I was a child.
I work very hard every day, but because of deep financial crisis my salary is very little and not even enough for the things of primary necessity.
Because of extremally hot weather during this summer most of the potatoes and vegetables get withered in our garden. A lot of forests burned. We were forced to spend all our small savings to buy something to eat for the comign winter to avoid starvation.
Electricity and gas is very expensive in our region and we can not afford to heat our home anymore.
The only way to heat our home in winter is to use portable oven which heat with burning wood. We have wood savings in our shed and this oven would heat our home all the winter, at no cost to us.
Unfortunately, we can not buy such oven as our local market, because the value of it 8,300 rubles, and is a great amount for us (the equivalent of 197 Euro).
I decided to appeal to you and I hope you can help us. If you own any old portable oven and if not using anymore, I'll be very grateful if you can donate it for us and organize transport of this oven to us (we live 200 km from Moscow). These ovens are different, usually made of cast iron and weigh about 100kg.
Please let me know if you can help and I will write you our home address.
If you need, I can send medical documents about the disease of my mother.
I send you best wishes from Russia,
Valentin and my mother.
PS: Please apologize for the mistakes in this letter, I translated this letter with the help of computer-translator and dictionary. Thank you.
To my surprise, it turned out that quite a lot of my friends had plenty of free time on their hands and, without any thought of internet hygiene, had replied to Valentin.
We don’t use oven in Singapore. It is too hot. We have haze now from fire in Malaysia and Indonesia. I also work very hard but after CPF and MediSave, not much left. If you have any old air con unit that you are not using anymore, can you donate to me? My air con in my bedroom spoil already. Thank you.
From: Barney Cheng
How old are you and do you have a picture you can send me of yourself? Here is a picture of me taken at a recent stag night. And yes, those are real muscles. Nothing has been Photo-shopped. Interested to know more?
This is the eighth e-mail you’ve written to me and each time you want something different. The last time, your mother had cancer and needed $5000 to go to America for medical treatment. And now, she’s cold and starving and needs an oven. If you can afford the time and energy to keep sending this sort of harassing emails, I think you can find a second job so you that you can also afford to feed your family. Please STOP writing to me! I am a lawyer and I know people.
Fw: Letter from Russia
Listen, how is it that your firewall is letting this kind of harassing emails get through to your customers? I would be very grateful if you would ramp up my firewall protection. Please call me to discuss.
Clearly, you have mistaken me for someone who cares.
If it’s cold in Russia, you should move countries. The south of Spain is lovely all year round, even in winter. Or, have you considered a new life in Darwin? It’s always warm there and a little humid, but I’m sure it’ll do your mother’s lungs a world of good.
I wish you all the very best.
Hello. You sound nice. Are you single? Are you on Skype?