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5 Email Scams, As Invented By Cats

Cats are such greedy little buggers, they'd be ideal designers of Internet scams.

 |  Aug 23rd 2013  |   4 Contributions


Ah, those crazy email scams. They're usually easy to identify because they're too good to be true. You've just won a cruise to Barcelona? No strings attached? Before you pack that Speedo, read the small print and don't click any of those pretty little links!

I know you're impressed because you think the message is from some European royal who wants to wire you all kinds of money and drink imported champagne with you on the Lido deck of the cruise ship, but guess what? That European fancy-pants is most likely some slimy con artist, drinking cheap beer and sitting behind a laptop in Boise. 

Cats are such sneaky little buggers -- they'd be the perfect online scammers. If given the wifi password and the effective use of opposable thumbs, they'd devise 5 email scams just like these.

1. The Moroccan blue-ribbon Persian

"I could be a prince." Photo: Laurence Simon

The quintessential email hoax is, of course, the one involving a humble request from a Nigerian prince. This one usually opens with something like: "My dear, allow me to introduce myself." He goes on to bemoan his inability to transfer a large sum of money to the United States. He just needs your bank account information to make this happen. But wait, there's more! In exchange for helping the prince, you will receive a cut of the money. Sounds like a great deal, no? What are you waiting for??

Cats would be all over this scam. The ring leader would pop out a few thousand emails to unsuspecting cats, posing as a famous blue-ribbon Persian from Morocco. He'd need a place where he could send a pallet of Fancy Feast, but first he needs you to call the local pet food outlet, open a line of credit and authorize them to receive the pallet of food on your behalf. Also, he'd need all the details surrounding that line of credit. And your birthday, social security number and mother's maiden name. For your own security purposes, of course.  

2. Don't believe the lottery lie!

"Today's MY lucky day." Photo: Justin Dolske

"You've just won a kajillion dollars in the XYZ lottery! Now just send us some moola to cover the expenses associated with your 'winnings' and you'll be rich!" This kind of message may not come from a Nigerian prince, but it's still a royal scam.

Cats love to win prizes and would easily fall subject to hoaxes like this one. Heck, if my cats hear me say the word "treat," they think they've won the lottery and would jump through any sort of hoops to collect their goodies. That's probably how this scam would work: The kitty crook would inform the recipient that he'd won a kajillion treats. That's all the cat would need to read. He wouldn't fully digest that the scammer needed several pounds of catnip (in advance) to cushion the treats in the shipping box. I don't have to tell you how this ends.

3. Feline identity-theft: It's a thing

"You say 'identity theft' like it's a bad thing." Photo: Greg Dunlap

Identity theft is scary and thieves are constantly trying to figure out new ways to trick us into providing them with passwords and other personal information that would drain our bank accounts and demolish our credit. I know I receive emails like these at least once a week.

Cats are easy targets and their click-happy paws would result in a feline identity theft epidemic. You see, cats are smart, but they're also pretty gullible. "We at Litter King are having trouble sending you a free year's supply of fresh cat litter. Please click here to verify your Litter King username and password and we'll immediately send your litter." Kitty cat, you just got conned.

4. Chain of fools

"You see nothing." Photo: gillicious

Have you ever received one of those chain letter-y emails that instructs you to send $5 to the person whose name is at the top of a list? And then you cross off the top name, add your own name to the bottom of the list and send it on to tons of people, expecting that your mailbox will soon be crammed with Abe Lincolns? Well, unlike Honest Abe, the creep who send you that email wasn't so trustworthy. He's manipulated the whole operation so that he's the one that receives any sort of paltry amount -- this whole pyramid scheme of a scam is a bust.

Cats wouldn't care -- they'd try anyway, certain they'd soon be rolling in the noms. In the cat-centric form of this hoax, the cat would ask for one expired rodent to be deposited under a particular bush in a local park. Then, they'd continue with the instructions and hope to soon receive countless piles of dead mice, squirrels, rats and chipmunks. This would never happen. Surprise. 

5. Flimflammed by "family"

"We're splitting everything." Photo: Susannah Grant

You receive an email from who you think is Aunt Delores. She says she's traveling in Italy and has been robbed. She needs you to immediately wire her a pile of cash so she can make it home. Aunt Delores isn't in Italy -- she's probably at home watching Judge Judy while her email account is getting hacked by some scoundrel. 

Cats fall prey to this one as well. "I'm your Great Uncle Stinky and I'm stranded in an alley in Schenectady. I've fallen ill and can no longer hunt for myself. Please send 12 bags of Meow Mix (chicken flavor only) so I can get back on my feet." Just like the great uncle, this one is stinky.

What kind of email scam would your cat cook up? Tell us about it in the comments! 

About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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