Monitory policy

>> Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh, now this is just precious: the FBI is sending me e-mail. It seems they have "Investigated by the help of [their] Intelligence Monitoring Network System" and discovered that I am having an illegal transaction! Oh no! With "Imposters claiming to be governors of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, officials of some banks and organisations in Nigeria, some of them even claim to be from the Federal Bureau Of Investigation"! Oh no, no, no!

Fortunately, it seems I'm not in trouble! And thank goodness for that--I don't know how I'd ever survive a Federal Grand Jury indictment! No, it seems the FBI has heroically managed to intercede on my behalf with the Nigerian Federal Ministry Of Finance and they're going to give me some kind of ATM card that has $800,000.00 in it.

I'm rich! All I have to do is send "Mr. Paul Smith" a bunch of personal information and send them my $250.00 and a PIN (hey, maybe I can use the PIN on my current ATM card, just so it'll be easy to remember!), and I end up richer than Uncle Pennybags! Does anybody have any advice on where I can get a really good cane and tophat?

There's only one thing bugging me, though: the e-mail from the FBI is from their "Anti-Terrorist and Monitory Crimes Division." Now, if you're like me, you might look at that and think that "monitory" isn't a real word--that it's a misspelling of some other word. And if you did, you'd be wrong, just like I was (hey, I'm rich enough to admit my mistakes). Turns out that "monitory" is a word dating back to the 15th Century:


1. serving to admonish or warn; admonitory.
2. giving monition.


3. Also called monitory letter. a letter, as one from a bishop, containing a monition.
(definitions courtesy of

So it would seem that the FBI has some kind of division that is dedicated not merely to anti-terrorism efforts (this, one would suspect in the post-9/11 milieu) but also to crimes involving threatening letters from bishops. This seems curious, no? Is this perhaps one of these situations where a small, obscure sub-bureau is arbitrarily lumped in with a larger, or has one of the major Christian sects become a threat on par with al-Qaeda? "Agents Clarke and Vogt, we need you to head down to the Episcopalian church on Broad and see what you can turn up--we've got an anonymous tip that there's going to be an angry letter about an ecclesiastical offense sent to one of the commercial airlines."

Damn bishops, with their funny robes and big hats. Always acting like they're archbishops, lording it up over the priests, always walking around diagonally everywhere. Once saw a stinking bishop have to zigzag around for thirty minutes before he could get himself lined up just so he could scuttle through a damn revolving door. Funniest damn thing you've ever seen.

The best part of the notice from the "Feds," however, is that we have--yet again--one of these bits about forwarding e-mails from other scammers to the originator of this one:

Note: Do disregard any email you get from any imposter or office claiming to be in possession of your ATM CARD, you are advised only to be in contact with Mr. Paul Smith of the ATM CARD CENTER who is the rightful person you are suppose to deal with in regards your ATM CARD PAYMENT and forward any email you get from imposters to this office so we could act upon and commence investigation.

This is where I wish I had a honeypot e-mail address set up: it would be a real hoot to see if I could set some of these guys against each other. Or maybe not--they may be crooks, but I'd sort of hate it if a bunch of 419ers ended up shooting each other in a turf war I'd started. Still, if you can imagine: "Mr. Smith, I'm afraid that before you got a hold of me, I'd already given all this information to Mr. Paul Obi, who I now understand from your message to be a scammer--here's his contact info...." Mr. Smith, please meet Mr. Obi; Mr. Obi, may I present Mr. Smith. Of course, for all I know, they could be the same guy. I guess I'd be sort of alright if he shot himself.

Anyway, if you happen upon this post, Mr. Smith (may I call you Paul?): I fully believe you really are working for my best interests in your clumsy way, but I'm afraid that by notifying the United States Federal Government, ironically enough, you've inadvertently prevented my application for my ATM card. You see, if I actually take possession of the $800,000.00 ATM card, I will have to report it as income, and it's going to rocket me right up into a pretty awful tax bracket and I have no way of deflecting the blow; and I can't just take the money "under the table," obviously, since you've told the FBI about it, and I'm pretty sure that Mr. Persichini plays tennis with the Master Grand Auditor Of The American Republic on alternating Tuesdays--if he were to mention it, even accidentally, it would be the nipple clamps and car battery for me for sure, and I wouldn't like it even a little bit, it's just not my scene. I suppose you can blame the Democrats if you're looking for a scapegoat, Paul, since it's a well-known fact that they insist upon taxing lawfully stumbled-upon Contract/Inheritance payments, thereby giving lazy rascals such as myself no incentive to stoke the economy by laboriously sending money and personal information to foreign countries via unencrypted e-mail to people I've never heard of. It's a crime, really, which is why I will have to seriously consider voting for somebody who thinks the Earth is younger than beer, that global warming is a scientific conspiracy, that the state of Hawai'i needs to produce Barack Obama's birth certificate (I mean the other one, the Kenyan one) and that the proper function of government is to regulate vaginae, not corporations, the next time we have a big election and I have the opportunity to insist at the polls that living in a society with laws, public highways, national parks, an advanced military and other perqs should cost me absolutely nothing out-of-pocket, thank you very much. I'd be rich if it wasn't for them, anyway, those awful socialists; in any case, I must regretfully decline your assistance and your ATM card, Paul, and hope you and the FBI's crack team of monitory experts will forgive me for wasting your time, however inadvertently.


Warner (aka ntsc) Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 6:45:00 AM EST  

My letter was from the head of the FBI. Does he outrank a bishop, does he outrank an openly Lesbian bishop?

Eric Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 9:16:00 AM EST  

That's a good theological question, actually! I think the Director of the FBI ranks just above a bishop but just below an Archbishop, except in the Anglican or Episcopalian churches.

Megan Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:11:00 AM EST  

Here, you'll like this article from Gene Weingarten of The Washington Post. He actually responded to one of the scammers.

Nathan Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:41:00 AM EST  


The "defenestration of the rain forests" is the best line.


fraver = a favor done in frantic haste, as in "I'm double parked outside and the cops are chasing me. Do me a fraver, hurry up and lend me $20."

leanright,  Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 12:58:00 PM EST  

I may have some investment ideas to help you circumvent the tax burden.

Just send me a check, and I'll get right on it.

Dr. Phil (Physics) Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 4:51:00 PM EST  

I think the photo of the honcho in the e-mail is the best.

Dr. Phil

scramo -- OMG, these Captcha definitions practically write themselves, don't they? -- the act of an Internet scammer disappearing after he's emptied your bank account.

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