The Optimistic Blackmailer
I am in constant awe of the endless creativity, and perpetual optimism, of the human race. As a case in point, this amusing missive that dropped into my inbox a short time ago:
Hope you do not mind my language sentence structure, since i’m from Philippines. I infected your device with a malware and im in possession of all of your personal info from your computer system.
It previously was installed on a mature web page after which you’ve picked the video, it, my software instantly gain access to your system.
And then, your webcamera documented you flying solo, also i documented a vid that you’ve seen.
Soon after a little while additionally, it picked up every one of your device contact list. If you happen to want me to get rid of your everything i possess – send me 410 euros in bit-coin its a crypto. Its my account number : 1PE16MrNtyzKMhntxa… [etc etc]
Now you have 22hrs. to make a decision As soon as i will get the transaction i am going to eliminate this video and every thing entirely. Otherwise, you should remember this footage is going to be submitted to all your contacts.
To receive an email like this that begins by apologizing for any language deficiencies is a nice touch. And sensible as well, to forestall my taking an editorial pencil to his prose: Soon after a little while additionally alone would require a firm lesson in the benefits of brevity. Although, perhaps those from Philippines—not Nigeria, not the Philippines—are raised to be generous with their time-referencing conjunctive adverbs?
But then we come to the heart of the matter, and the true mystery here: which mature web page have I inadvertently stumbled upon? Leaving aside the mundane searches for movie times and corn chowder recipes, a glance at my browser history does show: Criminal Statutes of Limitations; Latent Fingerprint Cards; the effects of temperature on DNA; images of dreadlocks; security gates; and synonyms for the word derisive. Which of those might be too mature for delicate eyes?
As for Flying solo, I believe I understand the coy reference here, but the author of this missive is clearly unaware of our lamentable download speeds, out here in the hills.
And when we reach at last the payment required, I admit myself baffled. 410 bitcoin euros? Alas, I had not realized that those two currencies were synonymous! In desperation, I turn to Google, which informs me that indeed, they are not: a single Bitcoin is the equivalent of no fewer than 2,960.61 Euros. So, perhaps the kind gent is giving me the option? Either to send €1,213,849—or if I prefer, €410? Oh, what a conundrum!
Finally, inquiring minds want to know, why 22 hours, and not 24, or 36?
So very many questions, from one innocent note out of the ether.
I will admit to a niggling sense of disappointment, and a hope that the sender does not mind my language value structure when I say: the quality of blackmail letters has taken a downward turn, in recent years.
So for the next 20+ hours, I will sit and wait with bated breath, for my solo flight to be distributed to all my contact list. And if you’re one of them, kindly let me know how I do on it.