Back in June of this year, I began receiving emails telling me that I’d won the British lottery, and how excited was I? I actually won a lottery, a British lottery no less, which was a feat in and of itself, not because it was a British lottery, but because of the fact that I hadn’t even entered a lottery. I was told that my email address attached to a ticket number with a particular serial number had been chosen and that my lucky numbers (yes, the numbers I never entered), had been selected.

Of course, for security reasons I was advised to keep my winning information confidential until such a time as my claim was processed and my money was remitted to me. All I had to do was fill out a brief questionaire, containing all of my personal information, and submit it to the fiduciary agent (ahhh big word ... it means a person who holds assets in trust for a beneficiary) for follow-up.

Well, I promptly emailed back letting my “fiduciary agent” know that I was very happy indeed to have won the lottery but was quite curious as to how it happened, given the fact that I never entered said lottery in the first place, and that if, indeed I had won, they should already have all of my personal information anyway. I proceeded to tell them that if they could verify anything, to, by all means, let me know. Instead of verifying their information, I was sent an email “advising” me to verify MY personal information. Gotta give them props for being gutsy. Needless to say, I never received my winnings of five hundred thousand pounds, British currency.

My story doesn’t stop there. After that incident, not only did I apparently win several other lotteries practically on a daily basis, according to my email, but so did the newspaper! How lucky can we get? Then, recently my friend ... whom we will call “Toby” for the sake of anonimity, also won! He was so excited, he whisked an email back to the person in question, a guy by the name of Ali from Africa. Toby told me the following story: I sent an e-mail back to Ali about the millionaire who died in the plane crash we were talking about. I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity and I explained that it would mean I never have to work again and I was so excited about it that I already quit my job at the plant. Of course, that will mean it'll be hard on me and the kids since there wasn't much food left in the house after their mom died in the kitchen fire, but those seven kids are troopers and they will be okay a few days till the money comes in. I also told them I was saving to fly over there if needed, and asked if Southwest Airlines flew there. They wanted my phone number. I told them I didn't have a phone, but could use the payphone across the street if they would send me theirs.

Not surprisingly, “Toby” got a reply with a phone number included.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if I printed that phone number and the entire Ada Evening News’ readership called? Perhaps a few thousand phone calls would thwart this particular scam artist, or at the very least, intimidate him or her a bit. Genghis Khan said, “I am the punishment of God ... If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

I guess we could just ignore the silly cyber-swindlers ... but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

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