The words seemed sincere enough. A long-lost royal relative in Nigeria had passed and left a significant amount of money in a bank account waiting to be claimed. All I had to do was send my personal information and the money would be wired to me as quickly as possible. My finger poised above the send button mere seconds from enjoying my new-found wealth.

Or a cheery, well-endowed woman with suspicious intentions found some obscure profile of mine online, one that I never knew I had posted, and fell in love with me. She just had to meet me, immediately. All I had to do was click on the link to her website that included a mishmash of incoherent letters crammed together before some obscure domain name. Seems legitimate if you ask me.

Or maybe I have some issues in the sex department. That’s nothing a little blue pill can’t solve. Luckily, my new best friend, who again is from a country I’ve never visited, can get me boatloads of blue pills for nothing more than pennies. I’m sure if I purchase enough he’ll include a Pez dispenser so that I can pop them whenever it’s convenient. My productivity will take a hit for sure.

I get endless amounts of junk email. Luckily, my accounts filter this out, but sometimes, before I hit “Empty,” I take a peek inside the junk folder just to see what exactly resides in there. It’s how I humor myself when I’m at a stalemate with my latest project and can’t seem to find the right words. I get a good chuckle and continue to gawk at the fact that someone, somewhere responds to these ridiculous messages or otherwise the messages would stop. Whatever fraction of a percent of a response rate they get justifies the minimal cost of blasting out thousands of emails to recipients around the globe. I wonder if anyone has ever followed the trail of these trite emails to the sender. What would he find?

I think a short story could be written around this (whether or not it would be good is up for debate). What if someone clicked on the link and responded to one of these emails? What would happen? The obvious is that he’d (and only a guy would click on these mails) get ripped off, lose his life savings, get an STI, etc., but could there be something more? Would it lead to some level of international intrigue befit of a movie in the Bourne series? Probably not. I’m betting on the STI.

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