The Opportunity of a Lifetime
I received a repy almost straight away. Robert Harrower-
Gray, sadly died in the Republic of Benin five years ago without leaving a will. Now Thomas his attorney, had only three weeks left to find an heir to ten million US dollars. The paperwork had already gone into the United Bank for Africa to back up my claim. It wasn't going to be disputed. Thomas of course would be looking for 70 percent of the booty.
Nevertheless, I sat back and thought what I could do with just over a million and a half pounds. I could buy a stainless steel bin for the kitchen instead of the plastic one I intended. Maybe buy another onesie, so that I don't have to be coaxed out of the one I have on washdays. Okay, when it comes to wants lists, I don't have much imagination.
No doubt, it was the opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn't resist emailing Thomas back straightaway. I told him I'd never heard of Robert Harrower-Gray and I wasn't for being scammed - If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Thomas was hurt that I should think it was a scam. He, a father of three was a respected attorney, as I could see from the address on the top of his letter, and was also standing for the Republic of Benin Government. This was just a rare opportunity he had happened upon and if I didn't claim the money, it would be lost to the government.
I sat back and thought about it, his children's Christmas presents, a whole new way of life for both of us and was there a story in this? If I couldn't use it for the great novel then there was always the bi-product - a newspaper article. I went along with the plan.
Thomas went to a great deal of trouble to reassure me. He sent a copy of Robert's death certificate and a draft letter for me to send to the bank claiming the inheritance. I emailed the letter to the bank together with proof of identity - my National Library of Scotland card. The bank then sent me an email saying my claim had been approved at their board meeting that morning. It would seem we now have psychic banks for they wouldn't have received my 'claim' until the afternoon.
With ten million dollars now waiting and me drooling over sleepwear in the 'Next' catalogue, all that remained to be done was wait for Thomas to get approval - a warrant and an affidavit from the Supreme Court.
Next morning, it was all finalized and all I had left to do was pay the court fees - a mere 3,400 euros. Should I tell Thomas now that all I was after was a story, it would be the decent thing to do. It seems I'm not very decent because I decided to have a bit more fun. I emailed him saying that it would take time for my bank to change pounds to euros and I'd accidentally deleted the email with the payment instructions. Not to fear though, because I'd found the Supreme court website and contacted them asking that they send the instructions again.
The reply I received had steam coming out of my inbox. Thomas was livid. I was not to contact such sites (the official supreme court) for it was full of scammers and couldn't be trusted. I should only follow his instructions and he'd already been on to the court, who generously conceded that if I sent the money straight away they would accept sterling.
I really should have replied straight away in case the poor man was having a heart attack but I decided to wait till the following morning to tell him the bad news. It's the season of good will, let him have a night of pleasure browsing through the Next catalogue and dreaming of parcels to come. Of course there would have been a bit of worry too. Would the Supreme Court get back to me before I'd filled the saddlebags with sterling and sent them off on the pony express specified in his email?
Next morning, I did tell him it was all for a story and hoped he appreciated being put through the anxiety, disappointment and sense of loss that he was putting through anyone foolish enough to fall for his flawed scam. Not to mention the humiliation at being taken for a ride. Oh and I wished him a happy Christmas. I haven't received a reply yet.
Well time to think about that article, for the best way to get ahead is to get started.