News just in – I have won $25,000 in an SMS competition!! That’s serious moolah in SA: R200,000 no less. (Well, actually very slightly less, given that we’re running at $1 = R7.91 this morning, but let’s round it up and be happy.) I don’t actually remember entering the competition in question, but that is of limited interest to me or to anyone else given that I have now won it.

You have been drawn at 9:23 and won the check No. 509578!
Call 00239981103 to know the amount and withdraw it.

I called the number, which is based in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe – a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea; a place I have never visited, never mind entered an sms competition in – and the news was good: $25,000 good, according to the wonderfully cordial if rather heavily accented gentleman called Phillipe on the other end of the line.

And now all I need to do is to verify my bank details by sending them a measly $100 and they will pop the $25,000 plus my $100 into my account by return. Apparently, they have been on the receiving end of fraudulent transactions and that’s why this step is necessary. As I said to Phillipe, what is this world coming to when people try to trick each other in this way? Phillipe was momentarily quiet, presumably as he considered the misery that such individuals may cause to their unwitting victims.
It was a bonding moment, I feel, that he too felt my anguish at the evil that men do.

Anyway, I got his bank details and I contacted my bank, asking them to help arrange the $100 transfer to Phillipe. And that’s where things started to go wrong. My bank refused, saying that they were not going to allow me to spend my money on a fishing trip. I got angry – this is my money and where the hell did they get the idea about me going fishing, anyway?
Sure, São Tomé and Príncipe has some wonderful aquatic life and is, in fact, famed for its fantastic seafood, but I have no desire to actually go there in order to partake in a pastime which, in all honesty, leaves me rather cold. My brother would be there like a shot, but then he didn’t win the competition, did he?

I asked to speak with the manager, but the message was just the same. A point-blank refusal. He wouldn’t even call Phillipe and explain his reasoning. So I have written to the head office to complain. Idiots. 
Meanwhile, I have withdrawn R920, which I have now converted into US dollars and I am posting it to Phillipe. I have also photocopied my credit card and sent that along too – so now he has my bank details and the $100. I phoned him and I told him – sometimes a little trust in this world is all that’s required.
He seemed overjoyed – he couldn’t stop laughing.

And I will also be overjoyed when I get my $25,100 in a week or two. Bring on the good times!

22 thoughts on “Winner!

  1. Wow! You’re so lucky! I’m never that lucky. Well, except for the time I won £23 million in the Brittain (sic) Lotto. They said they sent the money already. It will arrive soon. Any day now.

  2. I hope it works out for you – I get so many notifications of winning in my junk mail that I have developed such a defense to this that I might miss the truthful one

  3. Good on ya mate! After all, all those negative people out there labelling such things as scams and fraud are just afraid to open themselves to the giving universe. You have taken a chance and opened yourself to largesse.

    .-= po´s last blog ..Girl Interrupted Wednesday =-.

  4. Absolutely Brilliant!! I wish I could give you a bottle of Screaming Eagle 1997 for real. But maybe sometime and somewhere in future we could share something less exuberant, celebrating your $25,100 prize!! Unless you wanna buy and use $5,000 dollars for a bottle of previous mentioned esteem.
    .-= Emil´s last blog ..Truth, or convention? =-.

  5. Goblin > I can’t wait. I’ll buy you a Killers ticket when the cash arrives.

    carelj > Lucky git. The Brittain lotto has never been that kind to me.

    Phillip Gibb > I did win a truthful one in June. Which was a bit weird.

    Po > My glass is half full – it’s my wallet that’s completely empty.

    Emil > Wow. I always wanted to win one of your SE Awards. Touched. Thank you. I’m winning loads of stuff today.

    Andrew > A very clever site, but a potentially dangerous one.

    Morticia > Hadn’t seen the scs link – thanks!

    Heiko > ‘Scammer’? Is that slang for ‘competition organiser’, then?

  6. You’re so right, and it’s a delight to be able to say I know someone who hasn’t been thoroughly infected by the cynicism that seems to be so commonplace nowadays.

    My bank manager, though, is probably quite pleased that I’m cynical.
    .-= Ro´s last blog ..#TechnologyFail =-.

  7. thanks you for your story, I have since started replying to all the Lotto Winning emails I have gotten and sent out my banking details etc.
    Really amped for the millions that will be coming in, will send you some as well, just first send me a few hundred dollars to make sure that it is possible.

  8. What a fake, Just got the same SMS with the same Numer, Backtraced the number and it’s a US based operator. I Fowarded the info to SAPS which will now look into the matter furter. SCAM!!!!!

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