Today is a banner day, my friends.

I received my first ever Nigerian/419 Scam through e-mail.

As a former employee of the relay center in Sioux Falls, these are not unfamiliar. I am not at liberty to talk about it, but all of the reports are true — we got a lot of Nigerian Scam calls through the system. They’re untrackable and they pull at the heartstrings. After all, people are more willing to feel sorry for someone with a disabililty.

Here is what I recieved.

Dear Friend,

Please excuse me for this letter.

My name is Valentin. I’m student and I live with my mother in a small town Kaluga, Russia. My mother cannot see and she receive pension very rare which is not enought even for medications.

I work very hard every day to be able to buy necessities for my mother, but my salary is very small, because my studies still not finished.

Due to deep crisis authorities stoped gas in our district and now we cannot heat our home. I don’t know what to do because the winter is coming and the temperature becomes colder each day.
I am very afraid that the temperature inside our home will become very cold and we will not be able to survive.

Therefore I finded several e-mail addresses and thank to the free internet access in our local library I decided to appeal to you with prayer in my heart for small help.

If you have any old sleping bag, warm blanket, warm clothes and shoes, medicines from cold, I will be very grateful to you if you could send it to our postal address which is:

Valentin Mikhayline,
Ryileeva, 6-45.
Kaluga. 248000,

If you think that it would be better or easier for you to help with some money, please write me back to my email valenmik@nextmail.ru and I will write you how to send it safely, if you agree. In this case I will be able to buy a portable stove and heat our home during the winter.

I hope to hear from you very soon and I pray that you can help us. I also hope very much that this hard situation will become better in our region very soon.

From all my heart I wish you a Happy New Year 2007. I wish that the New Year will bring hapiness in your family and all your dreams come true.

Valentin and my mother Elena.
Kaluga. Russia.
E-mail: valenmik@nextmail.ru

If this is not a scam, then it’s incredibly close.

My dreams have come true! I’m on the 419 bandwagon!

This was lovingly handwritten on January 5th, 2007