get a lot of e-mails every day, and most of them are junk — everything from work-at-home offers to amazing new solutions for varicose veins. For a few minutes each weekday, I hammer my "delete" button until these too-good-to-be-true annoyances are sent to the cyber trash can.
Rosemary Everson's e-mail was one of those that fell victim to the "delete" button, but I quickly thought better of it. A short rummage through the trash can turned up her letter and it was forwarded back to my "in" box.
The reason Everson's e-mail intrigued me so was that she promised to give me 3,000,000 Euros. At first, I wasn't sure exactly what a Euro was worth, but I knew that she was going to give me a lot of them.
Deciding to utilize the investigative capabilities computers have nowadays, I managed to find out that a Euro is like our dollar, except that the Euro is worth less than a dollar. In fact, it takes 1.48 Euros to equal an American dollar. And when I typed in a conversion request for 3,000,000 Euros, I nearly fell over in a quivering heap when the number that came back was $2,027,027.03.
Rosemary Everson was now officially my best friend.
As I read through the e-mail, Everson told a sad story about how her husband had passed away about two years ago and, shortly after his death, she had been diagnosed with cancer. She said that her husband had left her everything, including this large sum of money, and that it was her intention to pass it along to someone who would do good with it.
"I have been touched by God to donate what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the good work of the Lord," her e-mail said.
In fact, Everson even gave me some suggestions as to how I might use my newfound wealth.
"... to help the motherless, less privileged and assistance of the widows," she said.
Yeah, yeah, yeah ... all that is fine and dandy, but I had already started forming ideas about how I could start spreading $2,027,027.03 around — none of which was earmarked for varicose vein repairs. In fact, the more I thought about having that kind of spending power, the more giddy I got.
OK, all I wanted to know at that point was ... how do I get the check? Well, Everson had that all figured out, too.
"I have adjusted my will and my lawyer is aware that I have changed my will," she wrote. "You and my lawyer will arrange the transfer of the funds from my account to yours."
So I printed out the e-mail and carried it home with me. Never before had I been filled with the feeling that I was truly bringing home the bacon as I did at that moment. In fact, I felt like I was bringing home the whole hog.
As I told the story of Everson's health, holding back the golden nugget of how I was to soon become America's newest millionaire, I noticed the faces of my family begin to wrinkle up a bit. And those wrinkles got longer and deeper as I explained that this woman — a total stranger — was somehow willing, because of God's direction, to give me more money than a utility infielder makes in the major leagues for a season's worth of pinch-hitting.
Well, it didn't take long for Justin, my son, to go scurrying into his room in search of his shiny, new laptop computer. And within minutes, he found Everson's letter — simply by Googling Everson's name, then clicking on an item called Email Phishing Scam Archive. And there he sat, holding the figurative pointy end of a pin, poised to burst my multi-million-dollar balloon.
And then, with a barely noticeable wry smile, he did it ...
"It says the letter apparently comes from criminal hackers who use it to get personal information," he said.
Did you hear it? It went something like this ... ka-BOOM!!! Only louder.
Well, I couldn't believe that Everson, my best friend, would stoop to such a thing. And drag God into it with her!
So I read the letter again, and this time noticed an e-mail address for her lawyer — a Barrister Frederick Peterson — and fired off a letter of acceptance to him. I clung to the hope that I would somehow share the experiences of Adam Sandler in the movie "Mr. Deeds," minus the fire poker to the toes, of course.
It's been 72 hours now, and I haven't heard from him. So I'm starting to think that maybe Everson's e-mail should have remained in my cyber trash can — except for one thing.
Though it appears I can't believe that Everson will really give me money, her sign-off might very well be the only fortune any of us really need. It read: "Happy moments, praise God; difficult moments, seek God; quiet moments, worship God; painful moments, trust God; every moment, thank God.
That, right there, is worth plenty.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 739-4322, Ext. 148, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.