Flattery from a Stranger
So I got this little gem of an email in my inbox this week.
GREETINGS MY NAME IS ANGEL AND I AM THE DIRECTOR OF MEDIA REPRESENTING VISUAL MEDIA IMPACT IN TARRYTOWN, N.Y. I AM EMAILING YOU BECAUSE I SEE POTENTIAL IN YOUR TRAFFICKING DUE TO MY EXPERTISE OF SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZING. I HAVE OVER 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH INTERFACE AND COMPUTER DEVELOPMENT AND WOULD LIKE TO RAISE YOUR CAPILIZATION RATES EXPONENTIALLY VIA- SPIDERS AND CRAWLERS AND OTHER COHERENT MECHANISMS AND STRATEGIC MANNERS WITH PAY-PER-CLICKS AND FULL SERVICE MARKETING MOBILE AND I-PAD XHTML APPLETS VIA-PORTABLE DEVICES. CALL ME ASAP! I NEED TO GIVE YOU A FREE CONSULTATION AND SEE YOUR FISCAL TOLERENCE LEVELS. IF AM AM NOT IN MY OFFICE TALK TO JERRY. I WANT TO FLY OR YOU FLY SO WE CAN GATHER PHOTOGRAPHS AND DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR VIDEOGRAPHY.
P.S- I’M PUTTING YOU ON MY FACEBOOK FOR “FREE!”
Wow. I’ve never had anybody tell me they wanted to “raise [my] capitalization rates exponentially via coherent mechanisms.”
It gets worse.
The email above was also accompanied by a voice message.
After introducing himself, “Angel” says he is “reaching abroad in a manner transcontinentally cuz I wanna network with you and I REALLY like you a lot.” After cumbersomely explaining what he does, he reveals he wants to “see my fiscal tolerance level.”
What begins as an over-the-top compliment is really just a poorly disguised sales pitch.
By the way, wasn’t it just this week that I warned you that flattery often precedes an effort to defraud?
Let’s look at all the red flags in this sales pitch:
- It begins with flattery — flattery from a stranger, no less!
- He wants to see my “fiscal tolerance level.” This phrase is designed to get the recipient to feel prideful (“Why, by Jove, I’m a man of means!”).
- He wants to fly out to see me. Again, another element to make the mark feel important.
- He mentions that he’s “put me on his Facebook for free.” Naturally, this is an effort to make me feel indebted so I will reciprocate by calling him back.
Three parts flattery plus one part reciprocity.
Overall, the pitch is perfectly horrid, even laughable.
But it’s a good example of how con men lead with flattery so you will lower your defenses.
Know the triggers and be on your guard. Not all efforts to defraud are as easy to spot as this one…
-Ryan M. Healy