The following email got through the university's spam filter today:
From "Sgt. Alan Thyler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent Friday, April 27, 2007 6:30 am
To (Dr. Phil)
Subject THIS NEEDS URGENT RESPOND
This mail will definitely be come to you as a surprise,
but i must crave your indulgence to introduce my self to
you. I am Sgt. Alan Thyler, an american soldier,current-
ly serving in the third infantry division in Iraq.I am
currently in Kuwait on duty break.I and my partner,se-
cretly moved some abandoned cash in a mansion belonging
to the former president,Saddam Husein and the total cash
is 25Million USD.As I write this letter to you,this box
is here with me in cash as I secretly moved it out of
Iraq to Kuwait.You do not have to be afraid of anything
as no one else knows about this and everything is safe.
I would be pleased and grateful to you if you could as-
sist us in receiving this box for us on your behalf as
I will be heading back soon to camp in Iraq to join my
collegues. Of course,I will give you some money for your
efforts.We have limited time now, kindly get back to me
immediately.Moving the funds out of here is not going to
be much of a problem as arrangements are being made to-
wards that.All I want from you is your trust and assuran-
ce that if the box gets to you,you can keep it in a safe
place until our arrival.I have to stop here for now,
please reply me through this email address for security
reasons;;;Email Address;;; email@example.com.
as your re-sponse will determine our subsequent corress-
pondence.Please do not expose us and for security reasons.
In God we trust,
Sgt. Alan Thyler
This is verbatim, cut-and-pasted. The BBC news link is dated "Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK" and discusses some of the caches of money found in Baghdad. Say, this is a real news article -- you don't suppose this e-mail is legit, do you? Wait, I just heard my hooey meter going off again. Damn thing's been going off every couple of minutes. Let me turn down the volume on the alarm so I can hear myself think.
No Real Need For Secrecy Here
You'll notice I didn't bother blanking out the sender's e-mail addy. I don't really think he's in any danger -- and indeed I doubt seriously that there's a U.S. serviceman on the other end of that e-mail stream.
Besides, I think he's already wanted by the Punctuation Police for excessive and misuse of hyphenation, to say nothing of an aversion to putting a space (or two -- grin) after a period. I am also surprised that Sgt. Thyler writes in such oddly constructed English.
I'm Shocked, Shocked I Say
You don't suppose this is -- heaven forbid -- a scam, do you?
I thought so, too.