The Dying Child E-Mail Scam

In the last week alone I’ve been sent no less than five pleas in e-mail from a dying child. These messages don’t come from the dying child directly, they come forwarded from some of my best and closest friends. These friends are well educated (one is a PhD at a major New York university), another is rich and savvy (a CEO of an international corporation), while another is online smart (works for an internet PR firm).

Hoax On Your Heart
The problem with these well-intentioned friends of mine is that they are being duped into a hoax and a scam. The hoax is perpetrated upon the goodness of their hearts. The scam comes when they quickly give over personal information for the sake of a dying child when they would never give that data to a complete stranger who asked them directly.

It’s funny that I never get “help this dying child” messages from my cranky, unkind, crabby-ass online friends — only the sweethearts get drawn in — and that’s a big loss, because their good hearts have been tested and tainted by the ill wind of bad intentions and that’s the greatest death of all. I mourn the inevitable cynicalization of their goodwill.

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