Struggling a bit this week with the relentless run of days that look exactly the same, an email arrives with some very good news. Fransien Klein sends me an email headed ‘One Confirmation pending’. Fransien tells me that the German supermarket Aldi would like to reward me for my loyalty and they are going to offer me ‘a unique opportunity to obtain a £200 gift card.’ I have three attempts to win and I have to press the ‘get started’ section of email. I can’t wait.
What is especially unusual about this email is that I don’t often shop in Aldi, so they must set a low bar as to how they measure loyalty. And there’s something else: Fransien uses a very unusual email address: email@example.com. You’d thought she might use an Aldi email address, wouldn’t you, but then again she doesn’t exist and there is no offer.
I’m wondering if this hoaxer has been checking me out. She might know I only have one O level and was rubbish at school and I am very old. “Here’s today’s mug punter,” she probably thought. “And he’s probably a greedy bastard so he’s bound to click on ‘get started’.
My first thought upon receiving the email was simple: if I was lucky enough to win this voucher, what would I spend it on? The last time I went in – I think it was for a bottle of milk – I came home with a traffic cone, a chain saw and a vertical gas rotisserie. I didn’t need any of these items but they were cheap so I saved myself a fortune. Sadly, a year on, they still sit in my rickety garden shed. Perhaps, if they got some decent garden sheds, I might pick one up.
These scams are all over the place, aren’t they? They all want our bank details in order to get our money and they prey on our naivety, our stupidity and our greed. Who wouldn’t want something for nothing? Trouble is if something appears to be too good to be true, it usually is.
I try to be careful with what I share on social networks because there is always a danger, as with these like farming scams, I might be putting my friends in danger of being scammed. That free mobile home or free box of chocolates doesn’t exist.
Fransien doesn’t exist either so I’m going to block her future emails. She doesn’t want to give me something for nothing: she wants to scam me out of my money. Sorry, love: but I can’t go for that.