Scams, hoaxes and frauds

The given commentary is published within the framework of the agreement on cooperation between PRAVDA.Ru and WorldNetDaily

Someday, I may actually get a letter from the personal assistant to the former president of Nigeria wanting to give me $30 million. But I won't read it. I won't believe it. I won't get the money. Why? Because every day of the week now, I get an e-mail from Garumba Umar, pretender to the title, urging me to involve myself in a secret scam that no doubt requires me to first send him some money.

It's very similar to letters I receive from other phony African potentates who want only to put money in my pocket because they apparently don't know how to get cash out of their own countries. Enough is enough. Every day I get these letters. I assume you are getting them, too. In fact, I know you are because many of you write to me asking me if they are legit. Let me use this precious space and time to explain once and for all these pitches are scams, hoaxes and frauds.

OK? So please don't ask me for free legal and accounting advice any more. I'm giving it here to one and all. Now, of course, there's always the chance that the real personal assistant to the former president of Nigeria may actually write to me or you wanting our help in a no-risk money-laundering effort. We may miss out on a big payday because of our doctrinaire position against exploring every scam, hoax and fraud that comes along. As for me, that's the risk I am willing to take. You're on your own. While we're at it, please don't any of you send me this bogus story from the Associated Press. Here's the gist of it:

On March 23, 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Opus had jumped from the top of a 10-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note indicating he was despondent. As he plunged past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window. It killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

The room on the ninth floor from which the shotgun blast originated was occupied by an elderly man and wife. They were arguing and he threatened her with a shotgun. He pulled the trigger, completely missed his wife and the blast struck Mr. Opus.

But the elderly man defended himself against the murder charge by saying both he and his wife thought the gun was unloaded. A witness turned up to support his story. He saw the old man's son loading the shotgun six weeks earlier. It seems the old lady had cut off the son's financial support, and the young man loaded the gun understanding his father's propensity for threatening his mother with the shotgun. He expected his father would unwittingly kill his mother.

So the son was morally and legally guilty of the murder of Ronald Opus, right? Wrong. Because here, as the story goes, "comes the exquisite twist." The son was indeed Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's death. This led him to jump off the 10-story building on March 23 only to be killed with a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself.

The story usually comes with a subject line of "very interesting." There's no question the story is very interesting. It's a great story. There's just one problem with it: It's not true. Even though it has been picked up and published by seemingly credible and reliable non-Internet sources, including Notebook, the newsletter of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. It just ain't true. Sorry to ruin a good story.

But I like to deal in the realm of reality. Some of you perceive reality to be whatever appears in your inbox. That's fine. Believe what you want to believe. But please don't keep sending me these old rumors – these scams, hoaxes and frauds. I get enough of them. I get them all. I do not like spending my time debunking them.

There are enough real, important scams, hoaxes and frauds being perpetrated on you by your government. That's my specialty. While you're off spinning your wheels and wasting time and energy on these phony scams, hoaxes and frauds, your government is picking your pocket, passing off myth as reality and murdering our national spirit.

Joseph Farah WorldNetDaily

&to=' target=_blank>WorldNetDaily