Really? Bill Gates has $5 million he wants to give me

I understand how, when the Internet and email and all that stuff first hit, trusting people might might have been taken in by bogus emails from African royalty. But now? The generation for which all this was completely foreign has, for the most part, passed on. My generation, the baby boomers, has had plenty of time to learn how to do email, surf the web and spend thousands of dollars at Amazon to buy things we don’t need. So why is anyone still falling for the Nigerian prince scam?

Today, I received an email with the subject line stating that Bill Gates has $5 million he wants to give me. Now obviously, Bill Gates not only has $5 million but he would hardly notice if $5 million were taken out of his checking account. That happens when you’re a billionaire. The question here is not if it is realistic that Bill Gates has that much money to just give away. The question is who are these people who really think he’s going to give it to them based on a random email. The question is why anyone would believe that for even five seconds. The question is why anyone would even open that email.

Seriously, has anyone every heard of anyone actually getting money from a Nigerian prince? How can there still be people this stupid who don’t have caretakers? No one in life and no one on the Internet is suddenly going to show up and offer to solve all your money problems… well, no one will unless they first ask for you to deposit $5000 in the account as a sign of good faith. They still won’t give you any money but will be very grateful for the money you just gave them.

So let’s recap here.  No one is giving away cars, airline tickets, millions of dollars or all expense paid trips to remote islands. And certainly if there are companies attempting some sort of promotion like that, they aren’t using random emails and Facebook posts to do it.

So, like in the past, the future holds no free lunches.  My cousin Joe would have been happy to tell you this for free.