Could this be real life spam?

A pink envelope from Uganda

Very odd! I appear to be receiving what appears to be real life spam from Kampala, Uganda. I got two handwritten letters through the post the other day asking me for money.

  • One letter is asking for £780 per year to help her through their studies, and the other asking for nearly £6,000 per year. The school year begins on Wednesday 13 December.
  • Both letters ask me to reply to PO Boxes in Kampala rather than to real house or building addresses, which makes me suspicious.
  • The one letter that did provide an e-mail address (supposedly for a nursing training college) gave a Yahoo! address, which again made me suspicious — do you know how easily these are to set up?
  • Both letters used strong Christian language to — I suspect — tug at my heart-strings and encourage me to cough up and send huge wads of cash (that I don’t have) to anonymous PO Boxes in the heart of Africa.
  • Apparently I’m their only hope.

My Symantec AntiSpam for Letterboxes 2006 obviously needs updated again. They did have nice handwriting though, and pretty, pink envelopes so it’s not all bad.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “Could this be real life spam?”

  1. These are increasing in number! I’ve already had a few and they all seem to come from Nigeria. In The Gambia, where I visit often, Nigerians are infamous for their scams. This one seems to be the result of someone getting hold of the Episcopal Church’s Red Book Directory! Tear it up!

  2. Hi, Gareth,

    I had one too last week from Kampala. Want to swap details on this, to see if they are the same?

    To be honest, these could be legitimate requests by people who have trawled the internet and come up with our names. Needs are great, there are many orphans, and education is so highly prized as the way out of poverty.

    I get one or two of these a month now, but don’t reply, unless I can get someone on the ground to check them out for legitimacy, which is a huge hassle factor all round.

    PO boxes are not unusual in Africa. Many of my clergy friends there use them for security purposes.

    P.S. Would you mind sending me your father-in-law’s email and phone number? I promise it’s not to spam him!

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