Friday, March 25, 2011

Area Man Retires After Helping Ailing Nigerian Stranger Via Internet

St Louis

"He said he needed help, so I helped him," says Michael Vandau of St. Louis, Missouri. "I was raised to trust people and I guess it paid off in this case. Sometimes it pays to trust people and be nice. That's how my parents raised me and that's I want to be treated."

Michael said that the day after he listed his 1988 Corsica sedan on an online classified page:" Nice interior, New Brakes. Rust, $800 OBO" he was contacted by a man in Nigeria who claimed to be heir to an enormous fortune.

"Greetings Kindly American Owner of the item you are for sale. I hoping you are to help me." began the now famous letter that changed Michael's life.

"It was a prompt and courteous reply to my car ad. I thought it was someone who wanted to buy my car. Nothing more."

But the letter revealed itself to be much more than that as it described an amazing, transnational drama that was unfolding thousands of miles away and only Michael could help.

"I plead you today," continued the letter, "my family was honorably raised in Egypt and the recent unrest there has make it impossible to visit my wealthy uncle who, praise Allah, is dying."

Mr. Vandau shook his head sadly as he sat in a plush leather sofa chair recently purchased for $11,000 using money he would receive for his part in the amazing story.

"His uncle was sick," said Michael, referring to the Nigerian/Egyptian stranger. "This man in Nigeria had an uncle who was sick and he couldn't transfer money to this uncle because of the revolution going on there. He didn't have the resources because his country had blocked access to his overseas account. And here's the kicker," said Michael with a chuckle, "He also had a distant relative who needed a vehicle in St. Louis. What are the odds?"

Michael continued to describe how the email revealed the dilemma and how he could help.

"It's so simple, looking back on it, and it helped them so much. All I had to do is accept an international money order from the man in Nigeria. The money order was for $10,000, which is obviously way more than my car is worth. But I would take that money to the bank and deposit it and then send the difference of $9000 to an overseas account that the Egyptian uncle could access. See? And the Nigerian's relative would pick the car up when the check cleared. Everyone wins! And after I sell the car they would send me an additional money order for $700,000. I'm no dummy," said Michael, "When I see a good deal I take it. And don't forget that this helps an ailing man in a politically unstable country. Only a monster would turn a blind eye to his need!"

Michael was at first hesitant. "Not suspicious like, 'This guy is going to scam me,' suspicious. But more like, 'How am I going to pull this off and get this man well again. I would've just sent the money to the Egyptian uncle's account accept I've been laid off work for a year so I didn't have anything to send, you know? Now all I can say is the proof is in the pudding."

That pudding is filled with gold as the Nigerian sent the money order, Mr. Vandau deposited it and when it cleared he sent the difference to the Egyptian account.

"it took a few days for the uncle to get his money and when he did, boy was he overjoyed. He could get his medicine, bribe the police who held him prisoner in his house, pay to have his wife freed from a torture chamber and have some work done to his house. To show his gratitude, the Nigerian, a man it turned out is the owner of a gold mine, send me a check for $700,000. Look at this spread!" exclaimed Mr. Vandau as he gestured at his expansive estate he recently purchased with the reward.

The trio and their family are planning a reunion in the future but for now they are all pleased with the new friendships they formed via the Internet. The Nigerian man who asked to remain anonymous had this to say, "For years we have been begging literally thousands of Americans to help us, while the situation just got worse, and the string of abuse we received you would not believe. Everything from, "You dirty piece of shit, stop bugging me with these scams!" to "I wish cancer upon you and your disgusting family." Imagine! All manner of evil attacks on me simply because we were in an unusual position and had no one to help us. Terrible. I am very thankful for Mr. Vandau's charitable use of time and I believe he is thankful for the compensation I gave him...and of course my uncle is healthy and that's all that really matters in these trying times. Family comes first."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny. I was that man in my dreams.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.