Conversations With Spambots


I never really paid much attention to junk email. It was the sort of thing you came to expect: the odd desperate Nigerian prince in among the usual, accidentally emailing your boss about how you were very interested in enlarging your penis in 30 days, etc.

But have you ever stopped to consider the story behind the email? How many opportunities have I missed? How many potential friends passed me by in a whirl of unrealistic offers and appalling grammar? If I stopped to give just one spambot a chance, it could change my life for the better. Confident that I wouldn’t end up penniless and alone in a dirty bathtub with fewer kidneys than I started with, I waited for my first new friend to arrive. Enter PRIVATEPOST.

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My prayers had been answered. I was slightly hesitant initially, what with him being my first, but he was sending regards. Lightly heated regards, no less. I responded, with high hopes.

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This mysterious bankman was offering me the world, and I wanted in. Turns out that ‘do not ask my name thing’ wasn’t too important because he told me anyway.

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Success! I’d impressed him enough to enter his inner circle. I could already feel myself getting drunk on power. I pushed Wang further. We had to get going, NOW.

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If that had been an interview, I’d have knocked it out of the park. Soon, grown men would weep at my wealth and I’d be drowning in supermodels. How many supermodels do you think you’d need to actually drown in them? 15? 18? I digress. But Wang was playing hard to get.

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The same email. Wang, you sly son of a bitch. I was undeterred, and wanted to prove my worth, but with each new email and each reply my hope faded. The same email. Over and over. The mythical business proposal never arrived, and my dream died. A dead end.

I’ve tried to talk to spambots since, but it’s never the same. I had high hopes for family man Paul Travers, a man with so little travel experience that he managed to get robbed inside the hotel he was staying at:

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Paul never replied. Guess he found another extraction expert to get him out of the country. Maybe Ben Affleck from that one movie where they created a fake sci-fi film to get US hostages out of Iran. You know, Good Will Hunting.

The fine folks at UPDATES were a similar dead end:

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Faizal Bin Hanif was disconcertingly flirty, but I can’t pretend I wasn’t intrigued:

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What have I learned from all of this? Very little. You know what? I bet Wang doesn’t even work for Bank of China. Classic Wang.


Editor and MA English student. Follow on Twitter @SamEverard1

Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    Nice try at least! It’s worth reading Yes Man by Danny Wallace – I’m not sure if the film has this in it, but in the book the character replies to spam mail. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s very good!

  2. avatar

    There’s an entire internet community dedicated to messing around with scam emailers. Called 419eaters I think, they’ve managed to get these guys to do some amazingly ridiculous things in the pursuit of money

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