It must have been something cogent and articulately pleading in my weekly prayers, but recently I’ve just been darn lucky. Not once, but twice.
This past week I received an email from an unknown generous “friend” who said he himself had won $3 million in a Michigan lottery that he was going to share among several LGBTQ organizations and a few gay persons.
“You, Charles, are one of them!” (I couldn’t have been that good in bed. Let’s say he was a fan of my art.)
The previous week I received a call and was excitedly told I had won a Publisher’s Clearing House award of $2.5 Million, AND! a 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia. (Che Bella, Mary.)
I’ll admit to being intrigued by the possibility that somehow, someway a previous mailed-in entry did get picked. (God knows everybody plays the PCH game for the chance of a lifetime.)
What followed next from my informant was a strictly secret series of two 10-digit numbers to be given as ID when receiving my winning check and the Alfa.
I was cautioned to show no one these numbers.
“There are too many out there who just might take advantage of you, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime Mega Bucks winning.”
I was then given background about the Better Business Bureau and the IRS monitoring that goes with the handling of the joint winnings.
“Now, Mr. Alexander: Do you prefer your delivery with full publicity TV fanfare, or simply non-publicized handling?”
Playing the winning game, so to speak — modest person that I am — I turned down instant-star publicity, but, nonetheless, I was intrigued.
(Is there a possibility that I have indeed won. What will I do with the money? Will I share it? Will I be generous to LGBTQ friends, organizations, allies? Decisions. Decisions. Decisions!)
Next came the final requirement to get the Italian car rolling, so to speak.
“Go to your nearest Walgreens or Rite Aide store and purchase a Vanilla One Card for &499. This will be used to initiate IRS and BBB’s initial implementations,” were the instructions.
“That simple, Charles. Let us know when you get your Vanilla One card, and you’ll get your check and 2020 Alfa Romeo in just a matter of days, a week at the most. That’s it, lucky guy!”
I’ll give him credit for his spiel. It was artfully done, and it was ever so cleverly articulated. It was happy in tone. Cheering.
Then came my research. Reluctantly to be sure. (God knows I could use the money. Well, lets say $100,000 of it. Surely that’s not asking too much.)
Here’s what I found: The phone call was from Jamaica. The Jamaican Lottery is rife with its own scams. And second: Publisher’s Clearing House informs winners of their winning status by email.
In response to a scam of yet another internet vintage, I was told in no uncertain bitcoin, pay-me-naughty-guy terms that my porn-watching was being recently monitored and that if I didn’t pay up to the sender I would have my friends, my family and my Facebook followers contacted. (Whether or not that was to be facilitated on Zoom is anyone’s guess.)
This scamming, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press, originated in England. To date, a few local internet queens have been so scammed.
I replied to its bitcoin screwup succinctly: “ATTORNEY FOLLOW-UP PENDING EMAIL INVESTIGATION.”
I’ve not heard back from him. Not a peep. (As for porn, let’s hope Biden replaces Trump in 2020.)