lundi 27 septembre 2010

S is for Spam

J’ai des autres chats a fouetter — I have other fish to fry

There is definitely a lot more spam in my cyberspace here. About half are sent by a Canadian pharmacy that offers cut-price Viagra; most of the others come from on-line gambling, fake degree or porn sites, and are sent by people with names like Clay Montano, Bong Szmaic and Cullinane Pettry.

Orange very helpfully filters these into a folder called ‘indésirables’. Unfortunately, it also directs some genuine emails there if it doesn’t like the name of the sender. My friends Nancy, Rochelle and Tracey have all ended up there, as have messages from the Crown Prosecution Service (I used to work there), Apple and Marks and Spencer.

We also get regular emails from gentlemen in the Ivory Coast who want to book our b&b for several months at a time. Each enquirer is looking for an out-of-season holiday for himself, his wife and two children, aged nine and 12. (So why aren’t they at school?) All we need to do is send our bank account details, get the rooms ready, then sit back and wait for our guests to arrive.

Another correspondent, this time from the Cameroon, had a very sad story, so tissues at the ready. He was very ill and had no friends or family. He did, however, have several million dollars that he wished to give us. [All the more surprising then, that he had no friends.] In turn, he wanted us to set up a foundation in his name. As if I didn’t have enough to do without fighting French bureaucracy to set up a foundation. Anyway, all he needed was our bank account details.

Then there was a travel agency that claimed to be in Belfast that wanted to bring several pilgrims to stay with us. (We are, after all, just three hours from Lourdes.) All they needed was our bank account details. Another organization believed members of a Chinese football team would be very happy chez nous. As would some African gymnasts. All they needed was our bank account details…

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