Funny Business with Jane Wells

Email Money Scams: Your Responses For My Reply

Last week I told you I got one of those international emails asking for help in dealing with money. You know, “I live in Nigeria and I’m looking for someone to help me locate $10 million my father left in a bank account.” The writing is usually contorted and only the most stupidly greedy among us would respond. The email I most recently received offered me a job helping a Malaysian company (selling something vague) make deposits in the U.S.

I asked you, dear readers, to come up with a response. The impetus for this was an earlier “Funny Business” post which included a similar email sent to San Diego blogger Tony Phillips.

Here’s part of the email I received:

"Dear Sir/Madam!
Would you like to work online from home/temporarily and get paid weekly? We are glad to offer you a job position in our company, Prisma Desiran Sdn. Bhd.

We need someone to work for our company as a representative in the United States.
Presently, we are faced with some critical problems most especially with our Payment methods as most clients we have in the United Kingdom prefer to pay us with Certified Cashier’s Cheques or Personal cheques rather than cash. We find it very cumbersome in accepting such payments due to the new monetary policy in our banking systems here in Malaysia and this is cri! ppling our business.

We have decided to deliver the products upfront to our customer in the United States, it's very risky but it should push up sales to about 35 percent. Thus we need to get payments for our products as soon as possible because customers can just "forget" to pay.

your task is to coordinate payments from customers and help us with the payment process. You are not involved in any sales. Our sales team sells products. Once he makes a sale we deliver the product to a customer usually through UPS and DHL. The customer receives and verifies the products. About 90 percent of our customers in the United States prefer to pay by Certified Cashier’s cheques or Personal cheques based on the amount involved. We have decided to open this new job position for solving this problem.

1) Receive payment from Customers
2) Cash Payments at your Bank or any Cashing Point
3) Deduct 10%, which will be your Commission on Payment Processed
4) Forward the remaining balance via local money transfer after deduction of your 10% commission/pay to our head office. (Local Money transfers take barely hours, so it will give us a possibility to get customers payment almost immediately)."

I asked you, “How should I respond?” Your replies include:

From Chris C:
"What happens if, for some reason, I forget to take off 10% and 'accidentally' take off twenty, cashing it to my bank account? Furthermore, what happens if I accidentally "forget" to pay just as the customers could and cash in my check to pay for a better spam program on my computer?"

He advises: "Just send them your own job offer, telling them immigrants do very well in America, with "great hourly compensation and competitive vacation time."

From “Intern Anita”:
I say FORGET ABOUT IT! I get tons of emails like that each day. And I'm only a student lol. Anything that is that easy needs to be reconsidered. At any rate, don't leave your day job.

But the response I’m actually going to send comes from Tony Phillips, who started this whole thing. By the way, Phillips is in the midst of an Anson Williamsfetish on his blog, (warning--the language can get colorful). Turns out the actor who played Potsie on "Happy Days" is apparently available for weddings and bar mitzvahs, etc. Phillips thought it would be hilarious to book Potsie for his upcoming birthday, and then found out that Williams charges $12,000 to appear, plus four-star hotel accommodations and round trip car service from LA. FOR POTSIE! So Phillips is on a rant, and decided to write a response to my Malaysian job offer as if I was Anson Williams. Here’s a link to that reply:

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