As a sophomore in college, staring at the inevitability of working weekends and long hours at low wages as a reporter, I thought for a second about going into business. One of my grandfathers had run a neighborhood grocery store in Chicago, the other was one of the first to sell lava lamps there.
Neither expanded or hit it big but both were able to provide for their families in an honest way. They both defined that as a success.
Well, a movie out that year defined success differently. "Wall Street" featured Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, a shark dressed in a $5,000 tailored suit that viewed the business world as protozoa to be consumed. Anyone who has seen the film remembers the famous quote, "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."
However, the quote that's always resonated with me is how both of my parents viewed money in light of their respective upbringing, that being conservatively.
"You're walking around blind without a cane, pal," Gekko said "A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place."
The idea that knowledge is power is why I've embraced the journalism career path I'm on and the concept that whatever I've made should be treated gingerly, if you will, is how I've lived my life. It's just following in the footsteps of my elders.
So all of that is a long precursor to introducing the email I received over the weekend from a Wolfgang Jon, whose subject line to me seemed like it was missing a question mark. He purports to be an investment manager who has access to 150 million Euro that he's willing to share with me if I join him in a business endeavor.
The moral of today's Spam Report is that investment managers from Europe will not be blindly sending you emails offering you 20% of a prominent dead man's estate. Just not going to happen.
Remember this Gordon Gekko line, "A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place," and please don't fall for this. Oh, and running a grocery store and selling lava lamps is a lot of hard work.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
From: WOLFGANG JON [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2013 6:56 AM
To: Adam Schrager
Subject: NEED AN INVESTMENT MANAGER.
How are you?I am Wolfgang Jon,Operation Manager attached to a Security&Finance Company in Germany.A well known person with the European Union Deposited the sum of 150 Million Euro with my Company for Safe Keeping but unfortunately he died just few days ago in his home town in Belgium.
I am the one who signed as his next of kin because he Deposited the Money just for few months.This Transaction is risk free because I am going to use my Authority as the Operation Manager to Divert the Money to wherever and whoever I want.
I need your assistance to take Delivery of this Money and Invest into a Profitable Business pending the time I will resign from my Company.Yours will be 20% while mine will be the rest.
Awaiting your urgent reply.You can as well reach me via email@example.com