This may be my final column. You see, if I play my cards right I could be a multi-millionaire by this time next week. I will no longer have time to write columns because all of my efforts will go toward spending the $50 million dollars (or so) I am about to acquire.


A bit of background is in order. I have a throwaway email account under an assumed name. I use this when I need to provide an email address, but don't want to use my real email address. Inside this fake account is a junk mail folder. This is where I discovered my path to untold riches. 


Now, you could assume that messages going into the junk file in a throwaway account are a little shaky. Of course, you'd be wrong. This account is on the Internet. We all know everything on the Internet is true, right? I mean, they don't allow untrue things on the Internet. Gee, people, try to keep up. 


Anyway, earlier this week I received a missive from a Mrs. Nina who is in quite a bind. She's from Norway and she married an Austrian and he died. Luckily, he owned a gold mine in Austria, so he left behind $9 million or so.


You might think she is set for life, but this is not the case. As she says: “I am not in good health in which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am suffering from long term cancer and presently I am partially suffering

from a stroke illness.  I will be going in for an operation surgery soon.”


It gets worse. The couple were both orphans, so they have no relatives. They have no children. If she dies, all that money could remain “...unclaimed  and bank executives or the government will take the money and use it for selfish and worthless ventures.” What to do? Well, she wants the money to be put to better use. “Use it for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools for less privilege.” 


This is where I come in. “I need your services to stand as my next of kin or an executor to claim the funds.  I will give you more information on how the fund will be transferred to your bank account.” All I have to do is send her my banking information, phone number, and a scan of my passport. Then I just sit back and wait for the $9 million to arrive. Talk about a sweet deal!


There's more, though. As they say on those Made for TV ads, “but wait!” Just as I was dreaming of my $9 million windfall, more opportunities arrived. A Mr. John Zaka, the manager of the Coris Bank in International Burkino Faso, offered to transfer $12.7 million to my bank in the U.S. Again, all I need to provide is all my personal information. This was obviously legit because it said right in the email “there is no risk involved.” 


In what could only be a strange coincidence, the next day a Mr. Jo Zakia, who is also the manager of the Coris Bank in International Burkina Faso, proposed a transfer of the exact same amount to me – $12.7 million. Similar names, titles, and dollar amounts would normally cause me to be suspicious, but again the email stated “there is no risk involved.”


The, to top it all off, an attorney named Mr. Luis noted that he has a client with the same surname as mine. The late client has $17.5 million “deposited in a bank here in my country.” I can help him claim the money. However, since Mr. Luis did not tell me what country is “my country” I may have to do a tad more research. Can't be too careful, eh?


With all of this said, I am the first to admit that I could never be described as a financial wizard. After all, I am forbidden from accessing the family checkbook because my math skills are below those of the average cinder block.


So, even though these offers came via the entirely trustworthy Internet, I realize that some people might consider them a bit phishy. I will defer to their expertise and act accordingly. In the immortal words of that great philosopher Andy Griffith: “Who is going to believe a con artist? Everyone, if she is good.” 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and