Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Internet scam appeals to those who want to be greedy, instead of stupid
It seems that somebody has spent way too much time watching Three Kings, that 1999 film about soldiers in the aftermath of the early 1990s Gulf War who stumbled across, and tried to keep for themselves, gold bars that belonged to/had been stolen by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
That film had a soldier portrayed by actor George Clooney, with a platoon consisting of Mark Walberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze, seizing the gold in the days after the war, then trying to figure out a way to smuggle it out of the country.
I WAS REMINDED of that film earlier this week when I stumbled across an e-mail message I received that purported to be from a U.S. Army sergeant currently serving in the military efforts in Afghanistan.
This sergeant contends that while on patrol on Friday, she found three bags in a small hidden tunnel.
Inside the bags was $3.2 million in U.S. currency which may have been stashed away for future use by Taliban interests (although this sergeant chooses to spell it "Taleban").
Hence, this soldier doesn't seem compelled to do anything to let higher authorities know about this (claiming in the email that I am "the first person am disclosing this to"). Just as in Three Kings, where it was only by a fluke that the higher brass learned of the gold, and which some of which was inadvertently "lost" before it could be returned to the Kuwaiti royal family.
NOT THAT I'M gullible to believe there is a soldier out there with $3.2 million (or THREE MILLION TWO HUNDRED United States dollar) who's willing to cut me in for a piece of the action, IF I'm willing to provide some personal financial information about myself to help that "soldier" get the cash out of the country before she gets shipped off to a new province.
It's the oldest Internet scam known to mankind; appeal to someone's greed in thinking that they can get something that really isn't theirs -- then bleed them dry of what little they do have once you get that valued financial information.
My guess is that suckering a lot of people of little bits of cash each can add up to a significant financial score.
I usually don't feel sorry for people who get scammed in such a way -- because it usually is their own greed that makes them dumb enough to get suckered.
BUT SOMETHING ABOUT this particular scam caught my attention -- the fact that when I first saw the "line" about this e-mail, it came up as "Active USarmy." Some soldier's private e-mail account got hacked into, which makes that person the victim.
If not just for the hassle that soldier is going to have to go through in order to change their accounts to make them secure again.
Somebody seems to think that putting the military spin will appeal to all the people who want to go out of their way to "support our troops" no matter what the cause or action they're involved in. It has way too much potential to appeal to more gullible types in our society, in addition to the greedy who probably fantasize about spending the Taliban's cash on Internet pornography, or something equally insipid.
A part of me wants to send a response to this e-mail, one laced with expletives, so as to express my contempt for anybody who would stoop to such a level.
AND NO, I don't believe the Taliban is in any way involved with this effort. It's some wormy little twerp who has spent way too much time with his/her carcass parked behind a computer -- which ought to be tools to do significant things with, rather than an end in and of itself.
But I'd probably wind up singling out my e-mail account at this site for more potential hacker abuse. It's not worth it. I'm off to dig up my copy of "Three Kings," which is always good for a laugh, along with a mix of serious commentary about that two-decades-old military initiative.
So consider this commentary my response -- which not only serves to warn anybody else of the possibility of getting this message, but also allows me to say to whomever came up with this message the following of my own.